We did a book study with staff years ago on Disrupting Class. That’s what really motivated our staff to entertain the concept of blended learning. Our shift to blended has brought a shift in ownership: students own the learning. Students have a greater amount of flexibility in how, where and when they learn. While we most closely align to a flex model, this kind of classification was not in our creation plan. Rather, we built our program in-house based on self-identified needs within our school, not to fit any particular model. We still don't fit any one model perfectly, but rather have continued to evolve and grow over the years from a pilot with three teachers and 100 students to more than 50 teachers and nearly 2,000 students enrolled in at least one blended course. Key to our framework was maintaining and enhancing the close student-teacher relationship while breaking down the walls of the traditional school day via technology and innovation.
Our biggest challenge was incorporating blended learning into a traditional framework. Although we could have launched an entire blended school, we choose to become a school or student choice where students can choose the learning methods which work best for them in that content area.
Research best practices and implement the practices with fidelity that best fit your school's learning environment while networking with other professionals in the field. Also, start small, evaluate, and evolve based on what's working and what's not within your particular institution.
Huntley High School has been a leader in modeling how any school, even a large, traditional public school with low per-student spending, can build using existing resources a program that better serves today's students. In addition, over the years of building a blended program from scratch, we have acquired expertise within our staff of how to design and teach blended courses that meet student needs. All of our courses have been developed by existing staff, and a number of our early-adopter staff members have now transitioned into full-time instructional coach roles, helping their fellow teachers best design and implement blended learning and other strategies within and outside of their classrooms.
Huntley High School is a public high school located in Huntley, Ill., that currently serves over 2,500 students in the surrounding suburban and rural communities. Beginning in SY2011-12, Huntley High School started offering blended-learning classes to 100 students in English, social studies, and science in order to provide students with more opportunities to take required courses and develop 21st-century skills. Today, the program at Huntley has grown to cater to over one-third of the student population in every academic subject, including a wide range of electives. For every blended-learning class, there also is a traditional class offered.
Contact: Scott Rowe
Contact Title: Principal
Huntley High School
13719 Harmony Rd
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.