We went blended for the first time in November 2010 for an extended-day program. We began the program using an outside provider, but quickly switched to managing it ourselves, paying many of our teachers to stay late. During the program, teachers were able to experiment with blended learning in a way that did not feel threatening to their successes during the school day. Over time, teachers learned what they liked about blended learning in the after-school program and what worked well, and they were able to increasingly incorporate those practices during the school day.
Our biggest challenge came five or six years ago, when we realized that our Internet bandwidth was insufficient to support our needs. We have roughly 950 students, and when a substantial number of our students were using the Internet simultaneously, the infrastructure could not support everyone. We worked with district administrators for a long time to find a solution and ultimately settled on a particular type of optimization cable, which we were able to use to increase the bandwidth dramatically. We have been fortunate to experience very few issues with device connection since making this change.
The same way you would start any new initiative, make sure that you are doing it in order to solve a challenge, not just because blended learning is new or exciting. What is the specific problem that you’re trying to solve? And how is this going to do it?
Our greatest strength is our teachers. We are a school in an immigrant community. Fifty percent of our students are bilingual, and ninety-nine percent of our students receive free or reduced lunch. We are one of about thirty CPS schools that have been at the ninetieth percentile for attainment on the NWEA MAP mathematics assessment for five consecutive years. This speaks, above all, to the strength of our teachers. In our fourth and fifth grade math department, we have not had any teacher turnover in thirteen years, and all members of this department are extraordinary teachers who have done an excellent job mobilizing technology in their practice. Research has shown that teachers are the number one factor in predicting a student’s academic growth, and at Chavez we see how great teachers really can work to close the achievement gap.
Chávez is a vibrant, rigorous PK-8 public school located in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood. Chávez serves a predominantly immigrant community, with fifty-percent of students identifying as bilingual and ninety-nice percent qualifying for free or reduced lunch. At Chávez, stakeholders seek to facilitate connected learning experiences; an extended school day and a variety of extracurricular programs help students to connect their experiences in and and beyond school, and to pursue goals that emerge from this interconnection.
César E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center
4747 S Marshfield Ave
In 2013-2014 Illinois used the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and in grades 4 and 7 in science. The ISAT is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Illinois. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard. In 2013 the Illinois State Board of Education raised the performance expectations for the ISAT in reading and math. These expectations have been adjusted to better align with the Common Core State Standards, a multi-state initiative that established year-by-year guidelines outlining the grade-specific skills and content students need to stay on the path to college and career readiness. The higher expectations of the new standards will result in a downward shift of where students rank in meeting or exceeding standards.
In 2013-2014 Illinois used the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) to test students in grade 11 in reading, math and science. The PSAE is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Illinois. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is the state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in a public school district. PARCC assesses the New Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core and will be administered to students in English Language Arts and mathematics.
There are currently no past timeline events for this school.