Raising Blended Learners: Year One By the Numbers

A teacher in a bright and colorful classroom leads a small group of students in a hands-on math activity.

Disclaimer: This initiative initially was launched and coordinated by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, which in 2022 merged with and became the Charles Butt Foundation.

In 2015, the Charles Butt Foundation began developing a demonstration grant initiative to showcase blended learning strategies across the state of Texas, as a means to personalize instruction and improve student achievement.

Teaming up with Heather Staker and Cat Alexander, two leading experts in the field of blended learning Raise Your Hand created a competitive application process that began with a series of intensive training workshops to expose teams to blended learning and help them begin drafting their business plans.

Ultimately, in the Spring of 2016, five districts representing diverse student demographics and geographic regions in the state were selected as Demonstration Sites. These sites will receive up to $500,000 over three years plus comprehensive implementation support as they turn their blended learning plans into reality. Fifteen additional districts were selected as Pilot Network sites and will receive implementation support without grant funding to promote the expansion of blended learning statewide.

Today, implementation is well underway across the 20 sites. Among many other things accomplished over the past 6 months, the teams have spent spring, summer, and fall diligently: refining their SMART goals and design pillars to remedy a specific challenge in their school, such as, low literacy rates, low postsecondary readiness skills, etc.; supporting and training teachers and coaches dedicated to this work – 15 of whom are enrolled in the first blended and personalized learning graduate certificate program in Texas; and transforming classrooms to create flexible learning spaces to promote student choice and ownership over learning. Most importantly, over 3,500 students will be directly impacted in the first year of pilot implementation.

Watch our latest video, “Raising Blended Learners: Year One By the Numbers” to get a full sense of how much has already been accomplished. And, we are just getting started …