Lewisville ISD Selected as a Raising Blended Learners Demonstration District
Lewisville ISD is among the 20 school districts across Texas selected as blended learning demonstration sites in the second cohort of Raising Blended Learners, an initiative through the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation. LISD will receive up to $300,000 in grant funding plus additional in-kind technical assistance to implement a personalized learning program within the district.
Blended learning merges best practices of in-person classroom teaching with online technology allowing educators the ability to utilize data to personalize instruction while students gain more ownership over their learning.
“We are honored to be selected as one of the Raising Blended Learners demonstration districts,” LISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Lori Rapp said. “LISD is committed to ensuring students are future ready, and we recognize student instruction cannot be done through a one-size-fits-all approach. Blended learning has proven to have a powerful impact on the classroom and in student achievement, and our campuses are ready to get to work.”
Durham Middle School and Lakeview Middle School will be the two LISD campuses participating in the multiyear program. With the grant’s assistance, the district’s initial blended learning efforts will focus on changing the instructional format in English/Language Arts classrooms at Durham and Lakeview. This will allow for the individualization of student needs and growing the student learner, regardless of initial literacy levels.
“This grant will provide Lakeview teachers time and space to thoughtfully design learning experiences that are tailored to student needs based upon formative and summative assessment data,” Lakeview Principal Dr. Beri Deister said. “Once implemented, students will learn to self-reflect and set personalized learning targets, preparing them to be future-ready communicators.”
Durham Principal Gary Holt said the grant will also allow their schools to provide additional resources to further support students.
“The grant will provide us an opportunity to hire additional staff that will allow for a lower student-teacher ratio and provide additional support to help train teachers in best practices,” Holt said.
As Raising Blended Learners participants, Durham and Lakeview administration have worked in conjunction with LISD leadership to prepare staff for what the future of learning will look like. For example, this past school year, Lakeview ELA teachers grew their data literacy knowledge and skills through intentional work during their professional learning time. They also implemented station rotation work which prioritized teacher-student conferences that reflect on student growth from week to week.
“The Lakeview ELA department is committed to the vision of implementing blended learning as a means to individualize student learning experiences and increase literacy skills,” Deister said.
At Durham, Holt said teachers will undergo extensive training to prepare to facilitate learning in a blended-learning format.
“Our faculty and staff are truly excited about the learning opportunity it creates for our entire learning community as well as providing a pathway for greater student success,” Holt said. “Durham Middle School is prepared to become a model of successful blended learning implementation.”
The second cohort of Raising Blended Learners was scheduled to begin work during the 2020-21 school year. However, due to circumstances surrounding the current global pandemic, program implementation will begin the 2021-22 school year.
“Even with a delay, Raise Your Hand is committed to helping districts maintain the momentum generated through the past year of the application and planning process, and supporting them in addressing the new teaching and learning reality of COVID-19,” said Jennifer Jendrzey, Raise Your Hand Texas Vice President of Strategy and Evaluation.
Learn more about Raising Blended Learners and the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation here.