When we first implemented blended learning, we used the enriched virtual model. This model allows students to have some face-to-face time and some unscheduled time during the school day. We originally split the time so that students spent 2/3 of the course outside of the classroom, but the teachers and students did not feel that this was enough face-to-face time. We moved to a 50/50 split, which has been much more successful.
One of the biggest challenges going blended was the buy-in from all parties: teachers, students, and parents. We overcame this challenge in many ways. First, the courses were completely voluntary. No one is every required to take or teach a blended course. Second, we provide lots of data to all stakeholders to show the positive effects that the blended program has.
I would suggest that leaders do not underestimate the amount of professional development that is required to make sure that teachers are prepared and confident in teaching in a blended environment. We provide two full years of PD to our blended teachers.
Downingtown is strong in teaching strategies for implementation and for helping other districts get started with blended learning.
The Downington Area School District blends instruction for three high schools in an effort to improve access to available courses.
Contact: Kristie Burk
Downingtown Area School District