About the Project
Over the past year, a small team of Facebook engineers has been working with educators from Summit Public Schools, a charter school network in the Bay Area, to create a classroom experience centered around students’ ambitions that takes advantage of all the technology and information accessible to a kid growing up today. Summit leverages technology to propel student learning through Personalized Learning Plans (PLP) managed by online “playlists” of exercises, activities, and assessments; Facebook is partnering with Summit to hone and expand the PLP through a pilot study with a cohort of several schools across the country. CA Group was selected to provide critical expertise in personalized learning and key project support to ensure the successful expansion of the pilot program.
For more information on the partnership between Facebook and Summit, see the article Facebook recently released announcing the project.
CA Group Team Members
Client: Raise Your Hand Texas
“Working with Cat Alexander and the entire CA Group has exceeded Raise Your Hand Texas’s expectations. Cat and her team’s national expertise in blended learning design and implementation has been instrumental in the development of our Raising Blended Learners initiative. What we appreciate most about working with the CA Group is the enthusiasm, creativity, and depth of knowledge they collectively bring to our project.” -Dr. David Anthony, CEO, Raise Your Hand Texas
“The experts that were chosen to work with us blew my socks off. They really pushed us, really pushed us to think deeper. I’ve been doing this a long time, but they gave me a lot of new ideas.” -RYHT initiative school district participant
“The CA Group always made us feel comfortable. They had a professional, laid-back attitude that just helped us feel comfortable.” -RYHT initiative school district participant
Raise Your Hand Texas aims to increase the impact of blended learning in Texas schools through the Raising Blended Learners initiative, a “blended learning demonstration initiative” showcasing blended learning strategies that lead to increases in student achievement. To facilitate the development of showcase strategies, Raise Your Hand Texas intends to award approximately five charter school networks or districts “intensive technical assistance” and up to $500,000 over three years to implement proposed blended learning plans. This ambitious initiative will require extensive knowledge of blended learning, a strategic approach, and substantial investments of time and energy to coordinate effectively.
CA Group was contracted to serve as the director of the initiative throughout the selection and implementation phases, providing critical planning support. While the project is still in the early stages, CA Group looks forward to partnering with Raise Your Hand Texas in establishing a first-in-class blended learning showcase in Texas. In addition to providing project management support, CA Group will do the following:
Design & Marketing. CA Group will support in reviewing Phase I applications, and selecting and notifying Phase I winners. Additionally, CA Group will build a knowledge base of relevant blended learning practices in Texas, aggregate a list of content area experts and partner organizations, and analyze current Texas blended learning policies.
Training Workshops. In partnership with Heather Staker, CEO of Ready to Blend, CA Group will conduct training workshops for Phase I finalists focused on developing plans to use blended learning to address student learning needs.
Plan Evaluation and Feedback. CA Group will provide general communication and support to teams as they develop their applications, as well as develop and execute the judging and selection process in conjunction with a panel of local and national judges.
Pre-Implementation & Implementation. As the finalists work to implement their blended learning plans, CA group will conduct bi-weekly conference calls and monthly site visits to finalists, while also conducting webinars and training sessions as necessary to adequately support implementation. CA Group will also coordinate a network of nationally renowned blended learning technical assistance providers who will provide winners with 1:1 support on critical topics like school design, teacher and leader development, change management, curriculum and content selection, policy, advocacy, communications, and financial management.
In the spring of 2015, the Raising Blended Learners Initiative was designed and made available to all districts and charter schools across the state of Texas. The top 80 finalists will be selected and invited to a two-day fall workshop led by Heather Staker of Ready to Blend, supported by CA Group. In Winter 2015, the top five finalists will be selected by a panel of national judges and awarded up to $500,000 to implement their blended learning plans over the next three years. In Spring 2016, the finalists will design their pilots and prepare to implement their blended learning plans in Fall 2016. CA Group will provide implementation support to the five finalists over the 2016-17 school year. For more information, click here.
Heather Staker, Ready to Blend
CA Group Team Members
Client: LEAP Innovations
LEAP Innovations seeks to bridge the gap between education and innovation for teachers and students from pre-K through college. They aim to guide educators through developing and implementing personalized learning environments to provide student-centered instruction tailored to each individual student’s needs. In April 2014, LEAP Innovations launched Breakthrough Schools Chicago, a year-long program providing grants and coaching to 15 school leaders to build and establish next-generation schools. In November 2015, CA Group partnered with LEAP to empower more schools in Chicago to use personalized learning to solve instructional challenges in their schools.
CA Group provided the Breakthrough Schools leaders with personalized strategic support to applicants on building their personalized learning models. In addition to providing written feedback on plans, CA Group worked alongside various other content area experts to provide individualized, differentiated, and scaffolded support to school-based team through 1:1 coaching sessions as they refined their personalized learning business plans. CA Groups supports included identification of instructional gaps and opportunities, as well as support in designing an innovative school model and student/teacher experience.
Schools will leave the program with fully executable business plans—or blueprints—for implementing personalized learning in their school, including a multi-year implementation plan; and
7 grants will be awarded to schools for the purposes of implementing their pilots.
CA Group Team Members & Partners