Initiative Overview

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Initiative Overview

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Raising Blended Learners is a demonstration initiative showcasing strategies for using blended learning to improve student achievement across diverse student demographics and geographic regions in the state, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps.

Through a 10-month competitive consideration process, beginning with a statewide open call for applications, five school district winners were selected as demonstration sites. These demonstration sites serve as proof points for the effective implementation of blended learning and will receive up to $500,000 in grant funding over three years, plus comprehensive implementation support as they actualize their pilots. Demonstration sites completed their first year of implementation during the 2016-17 school year and all five have scaled their blended models to include more students and teachers implementing in year two.

Fifteen additional districts were selected as pilot network sites in year 1 and received implementation support without grant funding to promote the expansion of blended learning statewide. These smaller-scale pilots receive implementation assistance, coaching, and professional development. In year 2, nine of the fifteen pilot network sites will continue to receive implementation support as they scale their pilots to more classrooms and schools.

Together these sites represent a mix of small and large, urban and rural, public school districts and public charter schools and each seek to apply blended learning strategies to remedy a specific challenge in their schools.

Year One Implementation Report

Raise Your Hand Texas commissioned FSG to evaluate the Raising Blended Learners initiative – from the programmatic planning to implementation in Raising Blended Learners sites. Download FSG’s second report, offering an overview and observations from the first year of implementation across the five Demonstration Sites.

Planning for Success

Learn more about the planning and selection year of Raising Blended Learners, including FSG’s first report offering an overview and lessons learned.

Raising Blended Learners Demonstration Sites

  1. Birdville ISD
  2. Cisco ISD
  3. KIPP Houston
  4. Pasadena ISD
  5. Point Isabel ISD

Raising Blended Learners Sites

Five winning school districts have been selected to receive up to $500,000 in grant funding over three years and comprehensive implementation support to serve as demonstration sites for the effective implementation of blended learning. Fifteen additional districts were selected as pilot sites in year 1 and receive implementation support without grant funding to promote the expansion of blended learning statewide. These smaller-scale pilots receive implementation assistance, coaching, and professional development.

Supporting Statewide Expansion of Blended Learning in Texas

Raising Blended Learners has developed and will continue to iteratively improve an ecosystem of technical assistance services to facilitate statewide expansion of blended learning solutions to Texas student performance needs. Both the five Demonstration Sites and Pilot Network sites have access to technical assistance in support of blended learning implementation in the following areas:

  • Budgeting and financial analysis, to aid districts in developing a sustainable financial model for implementing and scaling blended learning.
  • Education technology selection, to help districts efficiently and effectively develop the process for selecting online content that best meet their needs.
  • Implementation management, to facilitate change management and the execution of well designed blended learning pilots in schools and districts.
  • Teacher and school leader professional development, to train and support teachers, instructional coaches and principals in transitioning to competency-based, personalized learning through blended instruction.

To help other districts and schools interested in learning more or pursuing blended learning, Raise Your Hand Texas also launched a public blended learning resource portal with curated national resources and materials, as well as content created exclusively for the Raising Blended Learners initiative.

Texas Tech Graduate Certificate Program in Blended and Personalized Learning

The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation provided Texas Tech University a grant to develop a Graduate Certificate in Blended and Personalized Learning, a one-year certification for current classroom teachers. The program trains teachers on personalized blended learning pedagogy, as well as the practical application of these skills in their classrooms.

The Raising Blended Learners initiative is funded by: