Updating School District Tabs...

Blended Learning INITIATIVES

  • In Distinctive Schools we believe that the student:teacher relationship matters most in student success. We use the tech tools of today to provide time and learning tasks at a student's instructional level to make our instructional "facetime" have deep impact. We use a flexible station rotation model drive my student instructional needs to personalize learning for our students.


Why Blended?

At Distinctive Schools we believe that blended learning is using technology to enable being 1:1 with teacher and student relationships. We believe that technology is a classroom supply that supports efficiency, engagement, empathy and accountability between the teacher and student. Our entry point to student achievement is an authentic teacher and student relationship that powers learning for both adults and students. There is no greater device than the teacher to impact learning. We believe that purchased hardware, software and devices allow our teachers to use tools of today to streamline instruction, foster communication and prepare students for the future. We believe that blended learning is an operational approach to using technology in the classroom. We believe that personalized learning is using technology to streamline student centered and relationship driven teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Team Structure

At Distinctive Schools we use a shared leadership model to collaborate and cross train members of our team to ensure exposure and deep work to all learning environments and roles within our model. Every decision is driven from user feedback and perspective to design fixed and variable anchors to ensure equity in support of our model and the autonomy needed by individual campuses to succeed. As a team we are driven by the goal of PL scale across all Distinctive Schools' campuses by Fall of 2017. We use an expanded scale design team made up of campus directors, assistant directors and network level directors. At the campus level implementation and design teams include campus directors, assistant directors, coaches and mentor teachers. The VP of strategy for Distinctive Schools ensures cross team shared decision making to inform scale road maps and next steps.


All Distinctive campuses significantly exceeded normative growth in math and reading on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of AcademicProgress (MAP), with average growth across all grades implementing personalized learning of more than 150%. This means in one school year our students achieved the equivalent of over a years growth. Some of our initial Pilot classrooms with multiple years implementing our Personalized Learning model are seeing over 200% gains from Fall-Spring.

Areas of Leadership

Our current work focuses on Scale of our Personalized Learning model across all 6 Distinctive Schools' campuses. We are using the same design approach that we used at out 2 initial pilot sites to lead each campus in their pursuit of scale. We deeply believe it is impossible to personalize student learning without personalizing adult learning. Over the past 4 years we have been growing in our approach to provide personalized professional development for our staff. This year every staff member has a learner profile and professional growth plan to drive their learning to impact their teaching.

Focus Areas: Taking strategies to scale, Personalized / Competency-based PD

BLU Schools in this District

At A Glance

Total Student
Free and
Reduced Lunch
English-Language Learners


Amanda Rychel
Vice President of Strategy
910 W Van Buren, Suite 315
Chicago, Illinois
United States
Distinctive Schools's Website

Student Ethnicity

District Partners