Like most schools in Horry County Schools, Myrtle Beach Middle School initially used a Station Rotation model. But as teachers became more experienced in blended learning, they came to understand that the flexibility of an Individual Rotation model would better suit the diverse needs of their students. 'In the beginning, we thought in terms of time' how many days per week are we going to do blended learning?" Myrtle Beach Middle School Principal Janice Christy said. 'Now, we think in terms of the instructional cycle'when is the right time for teacher-directed, whole-group instruction, and when is the right time for individual or small group instruction based on student need?" When planning lessons, administrators and teachers also ask themselves whether online or traditional methods of instruction would be most effective. "Our model has changed, and will continue to change, as we become increasingly more sophisticated at using all of the tools at our disposal to move students along individual paths of learning,' Christy said.
'Shifting an organization rooted in traditional "direct instruction' to "teacher-directed' instruction was a big challenge,' Christy said. Administrators overcame that challenge by organizing extensive professional development for teachers before classrooms were expected to shift to the new blended model. 'This gave people time to get their heads around the impending change.'
The school's administration also overcame the challenge by making their expectations for the blended-learning program clear. 'People weren't provided an option' everyone was expected to use the digital content to help students learn,' Christy said. She added that perseverance, encouraging professional flexibility, and soliciting and responding to feedback from teachers also have been critical to the success of Personalized Digital Learning at Myrtle Beach Middle School.
Schools should start planning their transition to blended learning early and preparing instructional and support staff well ahead of the actual implementation. "Develop clear expectations and provide really good professional development. Create buy-in, share success stories from other places so that people understand the potential positive outcomes on student learning," Christy said.
Myrtle Beach Middle School serves a diverse group of students of varying academic abilities in the small coastal city of Myrtle Beach, S.C. "When student learning needs are diverse, the instructional model must permit flexibility in scaffolding each student to master the rigor of a standards-based curriculum," said Janice Christy, the school's principal. "Blended Learning marries teacher-directed instruction with personalized learning, thus helping us meet the learning needs of our students."
Contact: Janice Christy
Myrtle Beach Middle School
950 Seahawk Way
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
In 2013-2014 South Carolina used the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in Writing, English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science. The PASS is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of South Carolina. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.
In 2013-2014 South Carolina used the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) to test grade 10 students in English/Language Arts and Math. The HSAP is a high school graduation requirement. The HSAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of South Carolina. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficiency level 2.
In 2013-2014 South Carolina used the End-of-Course Examination Program (EOCEP) to test middle and high school students in Algebra I, Mathematics for the Technologies II, Biology I, English I, US History, and US History and Government. The EOCEP provides tests in high school core courses and for courses taken in middle school for high school credit. The EOCEP is a standards-based test program, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of South Carolina. The goal is for all students to score a C or above.
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