Virtual School Meanderings

September 24, 2016

Insights from the Field: Blended Is the Best of Both Worlds

From Thursday’s inbox…

Insights from the Field: Blended Is the Best of Both Worlds
Dear Michael,

“The phrase, ‘the best of both worlds’ represents the ultimate in a blended learning course.  The concept of blended learning will continue to evolve, and it is possible that blended learning will become a model of good course delivery for most institutions,” says Dr. Rohan Jowallah in his blog post Insights from the Field: Blended Is the Best of Both Worlds.

Dr. Jowallah is an instructional designer at the University of Central Florida and will be an upcoming facilitator for the Blended Learning Mastery Seriesin the OLC Institute for Professional Development. Read more as he shares his expertise in blended learning.

Do you know someone who we should feature in Insights from the Field? If so, contact Jill Buban, Sr. Director of Research & Innovation

Keep on Learning!

Jennifer Rafferty
Director of the OLC Institute for Professional Development | Online Learning Consortium

View as Webpage

The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with Education Week’s EdWeek Update.

In Absence of Qualified Teacher, Maine High School Turns to Software ProgramIn Absence of Qualified Teacher, Maine High School Turns to Software Program

An education technician will administer the Rosetta Stone program to students in the school’s French and Spanish classes. Read more.

(Teaching Now)

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

LSMSA extends virtual school application deadline

26. in online courses offered by the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts Virtual School. Course offerings provide instruction for Louisiana …

Virtual schools appear to thrive in Washington

Washington Virtual Academies is an online public school that enrolls thousands of K-12 students across the state. School started on September 6.

State lawmakers take a closer look at virtual charter schools

Democratic state lawmakers expressed growing distress this week over the management and funding of New Mexico’s three virtual charter schools …

School choice is best for Iowa’s students

He attends a virtual academy and is thriving. Unfortunately, there are opponents to virtual school and they want them to close, forcing my son to return …

She’s got spirit! Student creates mascot for virtual charter school

School mascots usually evoke an image of a student in a fuzzy costume rallying his peers during a pep rally or sporting event. But students at a local …

A DC Charter Wins $10M to Invent Virtual Reality Programs that Will Change High School — All of …

The XQ: Super School Project winners were unveiled Wednesday in a heavy-hitter event befitting a $100 million award. The prizes went to schools …

Hartsville’s Jaedyn Howle attends classes in virtual classroom

A daughter of Phillip and Deandria Howle, Jaedyn is enrolled in the South Carolina Connections Academy, avirtual K-12 public school she has been …

Georgia’s Governor Wants To Turn His Public Schools Into Post Katrina New Orleans

It authorizes the closing of a hundred Georgia public schools, almost … The governor then gets to fire up avirtual school district stretching across the …

Best & Brightest Awards enters 12th year of honoring outstanding students

Since Best & Brightest creation, 1500 students from Leon County schools have ….. Home-schooled andVirtual School students are eligible to enter the …

NLRB Decides Charter Schools Are Private Corporations Despite Public Influence

The Pennsylvania Virtual School Association filed a petition to represent full-time and part-time teachers at the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School.

School headcount rises, falls across county

The district has 22 students in the virtual school, about the same as last year. Nickerson High School, with a headcount of 326, is down about four …

Schools with an ‘incomplete’ on Florida’s report card now get grades

In Orange County after appeals, the Orange County Virtual School earned an A, Apopka High School earned a B, Jones High School earned a C and …

Tech puts new muscle in the learning game

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) — Technology is extending its reach in education. Omaha Virtual School is putting the learning process into the cloud and into …

USD 410 board hears of enrollment increases

approved selling HMS three-year-old laptops to TEEN Virtual School at $25 each. The computers will be used by students who do not have one.

Calhoun County school board OKs virtual classes

“The Virtual School policy itself is relatively new, but we’ve been doing a version of this policy for about four years,” Robin Kines, principal of the …

We know our kids and their educational needs best

We have chosen virtual school for my children and they are doing great! But some national charter school organizations are trying to stifle choice by …

O’Connell enjoys principalship at new Creek school

While in Adams-Friendship, O’Connell said, he worked with others to create a virtual school program for students who were pregnant, homebound for …

BASD eyes 16 objectives to move facilities plan forward

… STEM programming, a potential virtual school, a potential greenhouse and potential culinary arts. Add more space to support the performing arts.

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Accountant postpones expected guilty plea in cyber school funds diversion

The accountant for former Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School CEO Nick Trombetta apparently decided not to plead guilty Monday as expected to …

Conneaut builds online program from the ground up

After the third time, students become ineligible for the cyber program and must return to the traditional classroom or transfer to a private cyber school.

Accountant postpones expected guilty plea in cyber school funds diversion

The accountant for former Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School CEO Nick Trombetta apparently decided not to plead guilty Monday as expected to …

Agora Cyber Charter names new CEO

After a troubled 2015-16 academic year, the Agora Cyber Charter School in … After serving for four years as CEO at Pennsylvania Cyber in Midland, …

Conneaut builds online program from the ground up

Herb Bossard, head of the cyber program at Conneaut Area Senior High, … Whether cyber school is appropriate for everyone, private cyber schools …

Smethport school district sees declining enrollment

School director Daniel Wertz asked if district students enrolled in cyberschool were included in the data. London said they were, but not the students …

Erie area schools pass hat for projects not in budget

As pensions, employee health benefits, charter and cyber school tuitions, and state education mandates claim larger shares of school budgets, more …

Pa. auditor general: Cyber spent millions on mgt. firm, arts center tied to founder

One of the central issues was that the cyber school’s board had provided little oversight over business transactions involving Nick Trombetta, the cyber …

Lehigh Valley schools near top in sending money to cyber school

The Bethlehem Area and Allentown school districts are among the top 20 Pennsylvania school districts in taxpayer dollars sent to a cyber school …


September 23, 2016

[NEW POST] The Fascinating Four Forms of Blended Learning

From K12, Inc. themselves…

Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
Learn Outside the Lines
The Fascinating Four Forms of Blended Learning
9.21.2016, Contributor: Katherine Anderson, Fuel Education 
Blended learning is a rapidly growing instructional model that is redefining the educational landscape. Schools across the country are using blended learning programs to personalize learning. These programs have resulted in greater productivity for teachers and better outcomes for students because students receive the attention, support, and resources they need—and teachers can spend more time differentiating instruction.

As blended learning implementation continues to grow, it’s important to create a shared language with understandable definitions that enables educators to continue to revolutionize the K–12 sector. Knowing the possibilities of blended learning, and all of the options that come with it, is an important step to creating an innovative educational experience for students, teachers, and administrators…

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Take a look back at some of our
most recent posts!

6 Tips to Jumpstart Blended Learning
9.14.2016, Contributor: Katherine Anderson, Fuel Education
Fuel Education recently asked educators from around the country to offer practical tips on blended learning that others could use in their schools. We narrowed their responses down to six tips to help you jumpstart blended learning in this new school year. Originally published in a convenient downloadable guidebook, Blended Learning Tips from Educators to Jumpstart Learning, we offer a shortened overview here…
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Seven Ways to Celebrate National Online Learning Day
9.7.2016, Contributor: Katherine Anderson, Fuel Education
National Online Learning Day, September 15, recognizes the advantages and potential of blended and online learning programs and the accomplishments of districts, schools, administrators, teachers, staff, and students who use them. The day seeks to cultivate awareness of, and support for, an ever-growing community of educators and learners who participate in blended and online education. No matter your role within blended and online learning, it is time to celebrate…
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Thank you for reading Learn Outside the Lines.
And don’t forget to share the content you love!

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Copyright © 2016, Fuel Education LLC. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of those respective parties.

e-News September 2016 | Four Big Ideas About Change For School Leaders

Another item from Wednesday’s inbox…

September 2016

Responding to change
Starting new programs, processes, and procedures this year? Balanced Leadership for Powerful Learning helps principals and other school-level leaders harness the power of change and effectively implement powerful and lasting improvement initiatives. Balanced Leadership isavailable through ASCD.
Need a customized solution?
Beyond the book, we can provide school and system leaders with contextualized consulting, leadership coaching, and support to achieve 2016-17 school-year goals.
Just let us know how we can help!

Research Roundup

Learning from Summer: Effects of voluntary summer learning programs on low-income urban youth
RAND Corporation and The Wallace Foundation

A two-year summer learning study by RAND and The Wallace Foundation found that 3rd-grade students with high attendance rates (defined in the study as 20 or more days) in a voluntary, free, five- to six-week summer learning program did better on state math and reading tests than similar students in the control group, and held on to the gains in subsequent years.

Head Start program affects middle-school academic outcomes, attendance, and progress
Georgetown University

A study of a Head Start program in Tulsa, Okla., by Georgetown University researchers found that the early childhood education program had “significant and consequential effects into the middle school years,” with participating students having higher achievement test scores in math, and lower rates of grade retention and chronic absenteeism.

Making whole-child education the norm
Economic Policy Institute

This policy brief from the Economic Policy Institute looks at existing research and policy on the effects of noncognitive skills on child development, social-emotional learning, achievement in school and career, and lifetime productivity. It suggests that noncognitive skills can change, and “they are responsive to differences in school quality, children’s environment, and various parental investments.” The brief includes pilot examples that can help inform future initiatives and “the thinking about school design and culture needed to make these skills a core component of education.”

Nearly half of U.S. parents underestimate harm of school absences
U.S. Department of Education

A recent press release from the U.S. Department of Education and the Ad Council on results of research on parents’ perceptions of absenteeism showed that nearly half of parents believe that absences of three or more days per month are not harmful to students’ education. In reality, missing just two days or more per month correlates to a higher risk of falling behind on achievement and not graduating from high school.

New from McREL

REL Pacific Toolkit | Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education
A new toolkit from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Pacific at McREL is designed to help schools and districts improve their outreach to families and community members. The toolkit is divided into four parts, each including a series of activities that can be used with family and community members as well as other diverse cross-stakeholder groups. The activities involve reading, writing, discussions, and creative exercises using graphics, scenarios, worksheets, and planning templates. Find the guides at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences website.

Success Story | Study finds link between school climate and literacy achievement
The Department of Education and Training in Victoria, Australia contracted McREL to develop a highly reliable staff opinion survey to measure five key areas of school function: school climate, school leadership, professional learning, staff safety and well-being, and teaching and learning. Examining the survey results as they relate to student achievement on standardized assessments, McREL researchers found that school climate was a predictor of Grade 5 achievement in literacy. Further analysis showed that strong school leadership led to better teacher collaboration, which then led to academic optimism. Read the whole story.

Blog Post | Four tips for using nonlinguistic representations
Nonlinguistic representations can be powerful tools in classroom instruction, allowing students to process new information in a variety of ways without relying solely on language. In this blog post, Classroom Instruction that Works co-author Dr. Bj Stone offers four valuable tips for engaging students in nonlinguistic learning.

Research Matters | “High touch” is crucial for “high tech” students
In September’s Educational Leadership magazine, McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin discusses the effects of our “plugged in” culture on students and teachers. One clear effect, he finds, is how students relate to others: One analysis of more than 70 student surveys, for example, found that empathy among college students is at its lowest level since 1979—-a whopping 40 percent lower. Today more than ever, Goodwin says, teachers need to show and model empathy and provide opportunities for students to make real human connections by balancing their high-tech lives with high-touch learning environments.

Video | Closing the American Indian Opportunity Gap
Closing the American Indian Opportunity Gap
This video from the North Central Comprehensive Center at McREL, in partnership with a network of Comprehensive Centers, the National Indian Education Association, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, shares insights from a recent meeting of key stakeholders including state education department leaders and Native education experts who discussed the opportunity ESSA presents for a strong focus on American Indian and Alaska Native education, including greater tribal involvement and greater coordination among states and tribes.

Consulting and Training | District Leadership That Works
McREL’s research and analysis show that superintendents, school boards, and central office administrators have the power to increase student achievement if they fulfill certain key responsibilities of effective systems-level leadership. We can help you and your district leadership team understand why and how to strike the right balance among these key responsibilities and set a course to become a high-reliability school system. Learn more about this service.

Events & Opportunities

McREL staff will be at the following conferences to present sessions and/or to share information in exhibit areas. If you or your colleagues will attend, please be sure to introduce yourself to our staff.
Visit our events page or contact McREL to learn more about each event.

South Dakota Indian Education Summit
Pierre, South Dakota, Sept. 25-27

Region 13 ESC Advancing Improvement in Education Conference
San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 4-6

Georgia Department of Education Instructional Leadership Conference
Stone Mountain, Georgia, Oct. 5-6

National Indian Education Association Annual Convention
Reno, Nevada, Oct. 5-8

MENA Teacher Summit
Dubai, UAE, Oct. 7-8

American Association of School Personnel Administrators Annual Conference
Orlando, Florida, Oct. 11-14
“The cohesiveness and alignment between [McREL’s] Balanced Leadership
and Classroom Instruction That Works allows leaders to intently lead with instruction
at the forefront of planning, development, and support.
Chastity Jeff, Project Manager, Texas Center for Educator Effectiveness ESC Region 18
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Online Teaching Certificate Program – Starts October 11th

Another item from OLC…

Online Learning Consortium -
Online Teaching Certificate Program
Starts October 11th
Dear Michael,

Thank you for your interest in Angela Gibson’s blog post, Insights from the Field: Moving Outside Our Comfort Zone.

Are you ready to strengthen your current online teaching skills to become more effective in the principles and practices of online teaching? Join the OLC Online Teaching Certificate program starting October 11th, or the Advanced Online Teaching Certificate program starting onOctober 3rd.


Save your seat today and start improving your online courses with OLC.

Register today to:

  • work with and learn from recognized experts in the field,
  • receive actionable feedback for immediate application,
  • enhance existing instructional design and planning strategies, and
  • collaborate with peers from a variety of institutions and disciplines.

Best Regards,

Jennifer Rafferty | Director of the OLC Institute for Professional Development | Online Learning Consortium | 617-716-1414 |

View as Webpage

The Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

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