After performing research and participating in site visits, we decided that a flex model would give our students the greatest opportunity to be able to move at their own pace personalizing the learning for them.
Teacher preparation was one of the biggest challenges. We started planning a year early for the upcoming school year and this gave us time to get our teachers selected and trained. The CCSD Online and Blended Learning Certification courses were key in helping our teachers feel prepared. We also visited multiple schools in and out of the District to provide these teachers with an opportunity to see it in action. This also helped.
I would suggest making sure that you have enough time to plan, prepare, and implement. Time is one asset that you cannot have too much of when developing a blended learning environment and that you can not simply purchase.
We have basically helped our teachers redefine their role within the classroom. The teaching they do today is different than what they did last year. they are able to use space and time within the classroom differently. They now have data disposable to them at a moment's notice to be able to identify the areas in which a student(s) are struggling to get them the targeted assistance they require.
Located near Sunrise Mountain in Las Vegas, NV, O'Callaghan Middle School serves about 1,400 6th - 8th graders. Almost 70% of the students are Hispanic and many of them speak English as their second language. We felt the need to do more to reach more students on an individual basis and target their needs and weaknesses in a strategic, calculated way to provide them with the education they need rather than the education we wanted to deliver. This thinking led us down the path of blended learning coupling the best of face-to-face with the best of online instruction to meet the individual needs of every student.
Contact: Scott Fligor
Contact Title: Principal
O'Callaghan Middle School
1450 Radwick Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada