District Profile


The Winners: Fast Facts

1. Powering personalized, student-centered learning at scale.
2. Demonstrating strategies to improve student achievement across diverse demographics and regions.
3. Showcasing delivery models exhibiting long-term sustainability.


Three reasons Raise Your Hand Texas launched the Raising Blended Learners Initiative. More than 70 district and school teams around the state competed to win up to $500,000 and intensive technical assistance over three years to implement a blended learning plan and serve as statewide demonstration sites for blended learning in Texas. After months of planning, workshopping, and pitching their concepts, 10 team finalists were chosen. Ultimately, five winners were announced.

Pasadena Independent School District was one of those winners. Pasadena ISD wants to increase the number of its students who continue on to complete college after high school graduation. It also has a plan for increasing STAAR reading scores for grades 5 – 12. Here’s how the district aims to make this happen.


District Profile

Southeast of Houston, Pasadena ISD is one of the 15 largest school districts in Texas enrolling more than 55,000 students. To improve college enrollment and completion, as well as declining STAAR reading scores, Pasadena ISD will use a flex model to increase STAAR reading scores in grades 5-12; increase participants’ scores on targeted postsecondary readiness indicators; and ultimately increase the number of Pasadena ISD graduates who complete college within six years of high school graduation. Pasadena’s model includes personalized learning time, project-based learning, one-on-one mentoring, and Socratic seminars.



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Pasadena ISD Superintendent DeeAnn Powell to her team of staffers who helped design the district’s blended learning concept: “I’m proud of what you’re doing, what your kids are doing, what we’re hearing from parents and community members. I get to go out and brag about you. Thank you for making it so darn easy to brag every single day.”

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The Winners: Fast Facts

  • The demonstration sites represent diverse public independent school districts and charter management organizations across the state including urban, suburban, and rural communities.
  • All five districts enroll a total of approximately 94,300 students; the demonstration sites have the ability to impact more than 94,000 students.
  • The smallest district in our Top 5 serves fewer than 900 students while the largest serves more than 55,000.
  • Among the five districts, the average percent of students who are economically disadvantaged is 71.7 percent, higher than the state average of 60.2 percent.
  • The demonstration sites will pilot at 19 schools across their districts in year one, with some sites planning district-wide scaling by the end of three years.
  • Each of the demonstration site grant winners seek to apply blended learning strategies to remedy a specific challenge in their schools, such as low literacy rates, learning challenges among specific student populations such as English Language Learners and special education students, lack of student motivation, lagging high school graduation rates, math achievement, low postsecondary readiness skills, or poor student performance on state assessments.

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