District Administrators and members of the Connect Personalized Learning team were surprised by Raise Your Hand Texas announcing their grant win Wednesday morning.
Wednesday Morning, Raise Your Hand Texas announced the five winners selected as blended learning demonstration sites, including Pasadena ISD, to receive up to $500,000 in grant funding over three years and comprehensive implementation support, through the Raising Blended LearnersSM initiative. More than a dozen additional districts were selected as pilot sites and will receive implementation support without grant funding to promote the expansion of blended learning statewide.
The five winning demonstration sites – a mix of small and large, urban and rural, public school districts and public charter schools – will serve as proof points for the effective implementation of blended learning and were chosen through a 10-month consideration process involving 75 semi-finalist teams. Pasadena ISD is joined by Cisco ISD, Birdville ISD, KIPP Houston, and Point Isabel ISD.
Each of the demonstration site grant winners seek to apply blended learning strategies to remedy a specific challenge in their schools.
“Pasadena ISD will now stand as an implementation model from which districts across the state can learn,” said Alison Badgett, interim executive director for Raise Your Hand Texas. “District leadership is committed to using blended learning to personalize instruction and drive improved performance. We look forward to supporting Pasadena ISD’s efforts to enhance student achievement and sharing what we learn statewide.”
“We are excited to be a demonstration site for the state of Texas,” said Vickie Vallet-McWilliams, Pasadena ISD Director of Instructional Technology. “I can’t express how grateful we are to be a part of this grant that provides us resources to move forward with our plan for personalized learning.”
Pilot Network Sites
The Pilot Network of sites will implement smaller scale, non-grant-funded pilots and will help catalyze statewide expansion of blended learning. Raise Your Hand Texas will commit expert implementation assistance, coaching, and professional development to these pilot sites.
To help other districts and schools interested in learning more or pursuing blended learning, Raise Your Hand Texas also launched a public blended learning resource portal with curated national resources and materials, as well as content created exclusively for the Raising Blended Learners initiative. Raise Your Hand Texas is investing in third-party research evaluation and will publicly report on implementation, beginning in the 2016-17 school year, to drive broader statewide adoption of blended learning approaches.
The Raising Blended Learners demonstration initiative is funded by the Raise Your Hand for Texas Education Fund, Educate Texas, and The Meadows Foundation. Funding will support technical assistance for the Raising Blended Learners grantees and pilot network, including support for ed-tech selection, budgeting and financial analysis, teacher and school leader professional development, and project management.