According to Cynthia Bagby, Principal of Redwood Heights Elementary, they didn't choose blended learning - blended learning chose them.
In 2008, they introduced rotations and differentiations as a first step into personalizing education for their students. A few years later, it was a parent who introduced them to the concept of Blended Learning and it was pursued because it offered a way to teach for every student.
"We came organically to Blended Learning and I'm glad we did", explains Cynthia.
"The greatest challenge is ensuring people understand the vision and the impact of a program," explains Cynthia. Working within a school system that doesn't always have the resources to fund the program gives skepticism a room to be questioning new practices.
Nevertheless, Redwood Heights has built its program in a way so that they don't have to rely on too many resources to ensure equity and constancy in what they offer for their students.
"It is not about the technology; it is about using our tools effectively to reach all of the students," advises Cynthia. Even if blended learning is their model, a rich academic program is at the core of their transition.
"Don't buy the technology until people really want to use it and know how," she states. Redwood Heights began with a Pilot Program of only 5 teachers using blended-learning models but that number quickly grew to 14 teachers as people could see the use and the results.
The blended-learning transition was spearheaded by the Grant Team who sought for the original funding to kickstart this program. This Grant Team continues to show leadership as it keeps rolling out the blueprint of what needs to be done, keeps inspiring and training teachers to implement it.
By following this blueprint, "teachers are drastically changing their practice," explains Cynthia. New roles are being developed. Before blended, everyone was following scripted programs, and now, everybody is teaching with a sense of greater freedom.
"It has been really interesting to see how it went from some people being excited to try this out, and some people in the background criticizing, to everybody asking for it."
Redwood Heights Elementary is on a mission to train the next generation of 21st century citizens and critical thinkers. Through the use of blended learning, they put their students at the center in order to support them to develop agency, set goals, and work at a pace that matches their understanding.
Contact: Cynthia Bagby
Contact Title: Principal
Redwood Heights Elementary
94619 United States
In 2014-2015 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
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In 2014-2015 California tested students using the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), administered through the online Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. These are comprehensive, end-of-year assessments of grade-level learning that measure progress toward college and career readiness. Each test, English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics is comprised of two parts: (1) a computer adaptive test and (2) a performance task; administered within a 12-week window beginning at 66 percent of the instructional year for grades three through eight, or within in a 7-week window beginning at 80 percent of the instructional year for grade eleven. The summative assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA and mathematics. The tests capitalize on the strengths of computer adaptive testing—efficient and precise measurement across the full range of achievement and timely turnaround of results.
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