We chose the Enriched Virtual Model, because we were transitioning from a purely Virtual model to a blended model. The Enriched Virtual model was the best fit for our student population and has helped our staff in transitioning from a purely virtual to a blended model.
Changing teacher mindsets around the importance of teacher to student face-to-face (F2F) contact, and individualizing instruction for each student has been our toughest challenge. To address this challenge, we focused on trainings and PD around data-driven instruction and leveraging digital tools to be more data-driven in practice.
Ensure you implement solid systems around student and staff accountability. DDI (Data-driven Instruction) and how to leverage tools to help teachers be data-driven in their practice is important in a blended environment. Think "layered student supports"; consider the environment and model and be sure to create a support system that eliminates excuses for failure.
I am currently serving as the Director for Blended and Virtual Learning in the 2nd largest district in the state. My current project is to implement blended learning across secondary schools in the district (We are in year two). In my previous position(s), I've implemented blended learning and credit recovery solutions at the campus and district levels. I am currently working on creating a comprehensive curriculum platform that integrates different digital tools in order to help our staff serve the varied needs of our students (We are integrating Schoology and Edgenuity, and plan to add a CTE platform).
Jeffco's 21st Century Virtual Academy (JVA) uses the Enriched Virtual Model as our base blended model. However, JVA incorporates the individual rotation model while students are on-site for academic support. At JVA, we have created multiple academic pathways in order to better meet the needs of our individual students: Targeted Actions for Graduation(TAG), Middle School (MS) and Traditional HS (THS). TAG was developed and implemented to meet the needs of our credit deficient 10th through 12th graders. The focus of the TAG program is accelerated Credit Recovery along with targeted remediation, intervention, and academic skill-building. We assigned a Cadre of five teachers, across core content areas, to focus their data-driven instructional practices on these students. TAG students start their Tuesdays off in a brief advisory period where, they develop an individual work plan for the day. After the advisory period, students rotate to content area teacher classrooms according to their plan for the day. The day ends with a closing advisory session where students chart their progress toward daily/weekly goals and develop a work plan for the remainder of the week with their advisor. MS students are on-site on Wednesdays. Again, a cadre of MS teachers has been assigned to focus their work on this group of students. The MS students follow a similar routine as the TAG students, however, student groups are formed by teachers based on student skills and students rotate through content areas for direct instruction, tutoring, enrichment, remediation and/or intervention. Our Traditional HS (THS) students are assigned on-site "Academic Support" based on their MTSS plan. At JVA, every full-time student is assigned a prescriptive MTSS plan. Student on-site, academic support days are assigned based on the review of student academic history conducted during the initial MTSS process. Some THS students are not required on-site unless their grade falls below a C. MTSS reviews are conducted for each student every four to six weeks; at which time the prescriptive MTSS plan is updated.
JVA teachers work an 80/20 split. They are on-site one day a week working with students in their assigned pathway, and they work remotely the other four days of the week. However, teachers are responsible for conducting video conferences/instructional sessions, office hours, parent conferences, etc. when working remotely.
JVA uses Schoology as its primary curriculum platform and LMS. This year, 2016-2017, JVA is integrating Edgenuity into our Schoology LMS to provide a more comprehensive platform for teachers and students. The integration of Edgenuity into the Schoology platform gives JVA teachers and students the opportunity to insert their "voice" into their courses, while Edgenuity provides a content-rich platform with embedded tools that help teachers with reporting, progress monitoring, enrichment, remediation and intervention.
Contact: Dr. Leonard Brown
Jeffco 21st Century Virtual Academy (JVA)
11025 W. Glennon Dr.