Dallas ISD named demonstration site for blended learning through Raising Blended Learners Initiative

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Through a yearlong competitive consideration process, the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation selected Dallas ISD to serve as proof points for the effective implementation of blended learning.  Over three years of implementation, the district will receive grant funding and technical assistance as to pilot, scale, and sustain districtwide blended learning.  

“This opportunity exemplifies the hard work and dedication provided by our teachers and principals,” said Brian Lusk, Chief of Strategic Initiatives. “In our current learning circumstances, blended learning has helped our students and staff transition well.”

A cross-organizational team including leaders from Personalized Learning, Office of Transformation and Innovation, School Leadership and Teaching and Learning lead this work for the district. Dallas ISD is among the 20 Texas school districts selected as blended learning demonstration sites in the second cohort of Raising Blended Learners.  

Eight existing blended and personalized learning schools will engage in a three-year pilot to strengthen instructional best practices that will inform decision making in districtwide processes around assessment and curriculum. This grant will also support the creation of the Next Generation Dallas ISD teacher profile that will drive professional development. 

“Students need authentic opportunities to develop agency so that they can advocate for themselves in and beyond school,” said Kristen Watkins, Dallas ISD Director of Personalized Learning. “This grant will help us strengthen the bridge between blended and personalized learning to ensure our students have opportunities to create, collaborate, and advocate. We can’t wait to get started!”  

Blended learning merges best practices of in-person classroom teaching with online technology so educators are able to utilize data to personalize instruction while students are able to gain more ownership over their learning. Dallas ISD has plans to codify the process teachers take from blended to personalized learning. 

“We are very proud and honored to be selected for work initially led by our Personalized Learning Department,” Angie Gaylord, Deputy Chief, Office of Transformation and Innovation. “It is an exciting venture to scale some of the best practices to all quadrants of the district reaching more Dallas ISD teachers and students.” 

Raising Blended Learners was originally scheduled to launch work with its second cohort during the 2020-21 school year. However, due to the challenging times caused by COVID-19, the program will begin full implementation during the 2021-22 school year. 

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