We have consistently used blended learning to personalize and adapt to our students needs. This has changed bit by bit, year by year. We wanted to create an environment where students from all skill levels could work along side each other in the same class, and access the same content and lessons.
One of the biggest areas, which we are still continuing to grow in, is the basic digital literacy and understanding of both students and parents. Getting the whole community to support the child's education is necessary for each student to succeed. We have implemented parent workshops to train parents on the new grading system, or technology usage at the school.
There are going to be hiccups and issues that come up that you did not prepare for. That is ok! Be willing to be flexible, and adapt to the problems presented before you. There is no one way that works best for each school or grade level. Are students 1:1 with technology, are you using laptops, tablets or chromebooks? Is everything accessed via Google classroom or a mix of physical text and online? Do what you are comfortable with, and make sure you educate and prepare your students and teachers for the transition. Don't assume students or staff know how to do a certain technological procedure. It is always helpful to take the mantra of I do, we do, you do when rolling out new programs. Don't assume the next software or website is "intuitive". We are all different learners, and have various gaps in our understanding.
We have always had a standards-based, or mastery-based grading policy. Whether aligning to CC standards through platforms such as Haiku, or through Summit Learning cognitive skill-based rubric, we challenge students to not think in terms of homework and percent of grade to pass, but in how well they actually can show competency in various skills and areas.
Baxter High School is an independent start-up charter school developed by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization dedicated to opening and operating a network of excellent, small, high-performing public secondary schools in underserved communities in California. Alliance College-Ready Public Schools will annually demonstrate student academic achievement growth and graduate students ready for success in college.
Alice M. Baxter High School
461 W 9th St, San Pedro
Los Angeles, California