KIPP Empower Academy in Los Angeles presented some amazing results from their blended learning pilot at the New School Summit. Almost none of the students were reading on grade level at the beginning of the year and 96% were proficient were at or above grade level in reading by the end of the year. A third of the kindergarteners were reading at or above the 1st grade level.
How did they do it? By incorporating personal digital learning into every primary classroom, KIPP Empower targeted learning, leveraged teaching talent, and helped the school thrive despite massive California budget cuts.
Each classroom includes two groups of 14 student. One group works with a teacher, the other group receives computer based instruction. The class of 28 students is 40% larger than a traditional KIPP classroom but the teacher has the assistance of a shared instructional aide.
An NPR story last month describes the classroom rotation, “In a kindergarten class, for example, some students work on a small-group vocabulary lesson while other students work on a lesson on computers in another corner of the room. After some time, the two groups swap places. The idea is to keep the feel of a small class without the cost of additional staff.”