Transforming Education, That Deserves an Award

Seven schools and districts were recognized by the personalized learning solution provider Fuel Education for their innovative work in the online and blended learning space.
“These schools and districts are proving every day that online and blended learning can address a wide range of educational challenges across a district,” said Gregg Levin, general manager of Fuel Education. “While their student needs differ greatly, each winner is leveraging technology to better engage students, track their progress, and to personalize learning to help each student achieve their goals. We are very proud to partner with these innovative schools and districts.”
The 2014 Transformation Award winners represent a range of demographic, economic, and geographic backgrounds and showcase a variety of online and blended models. Congrats to each of these seven schools and districts for investing time and energy into transforming the traditional education experience for their students.

Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAS)

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Grades: K – 12
Instructional Model: Fully online, personalized program. Students use FuelEd and K12 curriculum to work at an individualized pace, and teachers supplement their lessons with live, virtual sessions and office hours.
Results: 80 percent of AAS students return to its program annually. AAS’s California High School Exit Exam scores have increased to a 95 percent pass rate, and the number of students that are behind or at risk has significantly decreased.
Bonus: According to parent Randi Fine, “The amount of personal connection between teacher and student has made the difference in my son’s academic success.”

Crater Lake Charter Academy

Location: Eagle Point, OR
Grades: K-12
Instructional Model: Blended learning environment with focus on personalized learning paths. Accelerated block schedule allowing students to focus on 4 classes at a time, onsite core instructional classes, and electives also available. The PEAK Library allows teachers to personalize learning for each student by leveraging additional third party content and adding their own content when needed.
Results: So far this fall, the Academy has 600 course enrollments—and is expecting more enrollments during the school year.
Bonus: The Academy is housed in an inviting facility that appeals to students. There are sofas, lounge areas, social spots, and computer labs.

Evergreen Public Schools

Location: Vancouver, WA
Grades: K-12
Instructional Model: The district serves the community’s education needs with a breadth of online and blended learning options available district-wide. This includes full and part time online learning options, a flex academy, a credit recovery solution,
Results: In 2013, students completed 3,983 credit recovery courses; 323 eighth-grade students earned a high school world language credit; and 225 students enrolled in a blended learning program. This fall, Evergreen adopted PEAK Library so the district can create its own courses and deliver them through the PEAK platform
Bonus: The school district serves nearly 27,000 students and is the fourth largest school district in the state. The district had experimented for years with different online education programs. But once the school board determined that online learning was a cost-effective way to meet the diverse educational needs of the entire community, the board mapped out a plan for a more comprehensive online program.

Middle School 385 – School of Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Grades: 6-8
Instructional Model: Personalized, online tutoring and assessment program (LearnBop) was used for one hour a week, either during class or in an after-school program. Student performance data was reported to the teachers each week, and the teachers used this information to target classroom instruction to better address some of the students’ common mistakes, and personalize instruction.
Results: Number of students who passed the year-end state math exam that included Common Core math content increased from 20/50 to 48/50 after one year of implementing the LearnBop program.
Bonus: In order to test success and efficiency, the school started with a pilot program of LearnBop to help students master mathematics concepts in a personalized way. The students’ self-confidence grew as they learned higher-level methods of reasoning and problem solving skills and became better prepared for future success in STEM courses.

Poudre School District (PSD) Global Academy

Location: Fort Collins, CO
Grades: Originally 6-12, now K-12
Instructional Model: “Structured flexibility” where students participate in FuelEd Online Courses or the K12 curriculum at home three days per week, and attend class on campus with their teachers and classmates two days per week. Students work at their own pace during the days they are at home. When they come to the Academy, they benefit from direct instruction, hands-on labs, group projects, advisory sessions, community clubs, and events.
Results: Based on state test scores from the 2013–2014 academic year, PSD Global Academy is among the highest performing schools for all Colorado schools—online, blended, and traditional schools in the public, private, and charter sectors—and all grade levels. PSD’s elementary reading and math scores are in the 98th and 95th percentiles statewide respectively; middle school reading and writing scores are in the 95th and 99–100th percentiles statewide; and high school reading and writing scores are both in the 99–100th percentiles statewide.
Bonus: PSD is the first comprehensive, blended school to achieve among the highest growth scores in the state of Colorado. In order to increase the partnership between parents and classroom teachers, parents must attend a Learning Coach professional development series, participate in the Learning Coach mentorship program, and complete a week of activities called Orientation Jump Start.

St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS)

Location: St. Louis, MO
Grades: 9-12 (in addition to outreach for those 21 and under)
Results: During the first year, 61 SLPS students graduated from the full-time virtual program. In addition, more than 1,000 students—approximately 20 percent of the district’s graduates—were supported by the program when they took original credit and credit recovery courses, as well as when they received supplemental content in their traditional classes.
Bonus: During the 2013–2014 school year, SLPS established four Virtual Learning Centers within the high schools across the city that had the highest dropout rates. The centers are staffed by district personnel who serve as facilitators to assist students enrolled in the online program. In addition, the district extends the personalized opportunity for members of the community who have dropped out (age 21 and under).

Trigg County High School

Location: Cadiz, KY
Grades: 9-12
Instructional Model: Online course options that include world language that would not otherwise be available, credit recovery, and electives. Courses can be taken at home or in a lab setting.
Results: Trigg County High School was named a District of Innovation by the state of Kentucky in 2014. This designation
Bonus: When the school’s Site Based Council decided in 2014 that there would be no on-site summer school option available, Trigg County was able to offer online summer school courses through FuelEd so students could stay on track to graduate with their class.
For information on these schools and the blended learning solutions offered by FuelEd, check out:

Photo via K12 Inc is a Getting Smart Advocacy Partner.

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