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Considerations for Starting Blended Programs (Cascade A)


Carol Barkley, Integrated Educational Strategies, Inc.
Chris Hartley, Six Rivers Virtual Academy
Kenny Richards, Northern Humboldt Union High School District
Lisa Gillis, Integrated Educational Strategies, Inc.
Pam Cray, Integrated Educational Strategies, Inc.


From "what is a blended program? to "what do I need to know" and "how does this fit in my school" are all common questions asked by educators who desire to implement this innovative model. Join a panel of experienced experts who will work with you answer these questions, give practical advice from real life experience, offer regulatory guidelines, provide a tour of blended models in place and provide reference to resources for implementation assistance.

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Chris
Look at "keeping the pace report" for different definitions for blended model schools
Shows what all of the different pieces of schools and how they vary
Humboldt started with Independent studies students - haven't used it for credit recovery yet.
Core Values - student to teacher relationship - place to have students connected to a brick-and-mortar institution (learning center- enrollment started with 5 now up to 26
Question: Do you use own curriculum? No, but we would like to. Note: State of Idaho - IDLE supports creation of online curriculum. Check out more info from Idaho State department of Ed.

Kenny: Macro perspective - you have to know your organization - teachers, administrators, board and most importantly the students. What do students want and need? Make sure that you have the research that proves efficacy. Ask the admintrators what they need. Most of them will need the program as a credit recovery tool. Look outside of the district. What are the charter schools offering - know your competition. We started our own charter school. Use a process to create your program - talk to experts and get as much information that you can. Creating the team - make sure that you have interested passionate team members - ask staff to fill our personal inventory so you can find out skill sets. Keep all partners informed. Even if the information that you are going to share isn't received well. Expect resistance and be ready to resolve issues. Don't be afraid to fail.

Carol: Experience in creating charter schools. California has a set of laws that affect your funding. Create a strrong an viable strategic plan with your stakeholders in mind. What is your vision? Why start an online school? Do an internal assessment? What is your internal capacity? Take the time to go through the process. Then establish your goals and the resources that you have to build a successful program. Finally, create timelines and then flesh out the plan. For charters that means that you then create a charter petition: for more info check out the session from this morning here

General Questions: What are some of the issues that you are having to start a blended program? Answer: what is a need that must be filled? In our district - Palm Beach County in Florida- we had a mishmash of programs that were not doing right by students. We found one provider to help us and long story short it was extremely successful. We have a lab that is open a lab in all high schools and graduation rate has increased. Now looking to expand into Middle School program. Now looking for a program to help those students.

Question: Has anyone explored this model for the advanced learner? In Wickenburg, AZ - we got a 1/2 million dollar grant - self-pace - 25 kids grades 6-8 - 1st year - very pleased thus far - all core subjects - using experts - many retirees as classroom visitors including authors. Kids who have traditionally struggled are now flourishing.

Challenges
Support
Reporting Structures Unclear
Adminstrative and key Personnel
Teacher's Union Resistance
community interest
Resistance from school staff
Funding
lack of interdistrict approval and skeptical school board
Budget
sabotage from staff
individualized curriculum
fitting students needs to assigned curriculum
facility
creating validity and aceptance
how to pay
parent support program
cohesive staff