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Cohorts

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  • 1. STUDENT LED COHORTS Within a College Prep, Hybrid Learning Model Texas Charter School ConventionMonday, December 3, 12
  • 2. PRESENTERS Steve Werlein, Head of School steve.werlein@orendaeducation.org Wayne Boggs, Head of Secondary Programs wayne.boggs@orendaeduation.org Terise Boggs, High School Team Leader terise.boggs@orendaeducation.orgMonday, December 3, 12
  • 3. STUDENT PRESENTERS Sarah Tobin, Cohort Leader for 9th Grade Thomas McDaniels, Cohort Leader for 10th Grade Riki Birkman, Cohort Leader for 12th GradeMonday, December 3, 12
  • 4. • Compe&&ve  Op&on  for  4a/5a  schools  in   Williamson  county. • Small  school/community  based  feel.  “Start   here-­‐Finish  here” • 38  students  in  2009.  (grades  9  and  10)   (Exemplary) • 200  students  in  2010.  (grades  6-­‐11)   (Recognized) • 600  students  in  2011.  (grades  K-­‐12) – First  Gradua&ng  Class  in  June  2012:  100%   Gateway college  acceptance. • 840  students  presently  enrolled.   • Growth=1000  total  campus  enrollment. College • Full  complement  of  UIL  academic,  fine  arts,   and  athle&c  op&ons.  (This  is  costly-­‐but  a   priority)  (1a/2a) Prep • 40  acre  “green”  campus  outside  of   Georgetown.Monday, December 3, 12
  • 5. Unique Challenges • New,  growing  school=encultura3on   challenges.   • Defining  our  mission:  Ci3zen.  Scholar.   Athlete • Number  and  quality  of  courses  offered. • Extra-­‐curricular  par3cipa3on  and  athle3cs • Rigorous  curriculum  offered  in  a  relevant   manner…..?Monday, December 3, 12
  • 6. Taking a Blended Approach What is blended learning?  (short version): Learning programs in which students learn in a SUPERVISED location away from home, at least some of the time. Students also learn through online delivery with control over time, place, path, and/or pace. (innosightinstitute.org) Obvious  benefits:  remedia&on,   enrichment,  re-­‐teaching,  saving  &me,   and  sharing  exper&se.Monday, December 3, 12
  • 7. Taking a Blended Approach What is blended learning?  (short version): Learning programs in which students learn in a SUPERVISED location away from home, at least some of the time. Students also learn through online delivery with control over time, place, path, and/or pace. (innosightinstitute.org) Obvious  benefits:  remedia&on,   enrichment,  re-­‐teaching,  saving  &me,   and  sharing  exper&se.Monday, December 3, 12
  • 8. What  is  “Flipped”  Instruc&on? • Quite  literally—a   challenging  concepts   for  students  and  adults   alike! • The  teacher  doesn’t   teach. • When  do  I  get  to   lecture?Monday, December 3, 12
  • 9. What is a cohort? NOT merely a small group! • A group of grade specific students.. Students spend time in “cohorts” in taking the same courses, a flexible, dynamic schedule that allows THEM to drive their learning. who support each other, work collaboratively, establish routines, outcomes, and accountability protocols within an established framework. ALSO: Student driven Heterogeneously mixed (ability) Designed to replicate group processes that students will encounter in post-secondary life. Often mirrors extra-curricular participation. This adds a level of ownership and accountability.Monday, December 3, 12
  • 10. Cohorts-a way to maximize the blended approach. Assumptions: 1. As an open enrollment school, students can enroll at any time, and from anywhere. (when space is available). 2. Students begin taking high school courses in 8th grade (Spanish 1 and Algebra 1). 3. Students take AP Human Geography as freshmen. 4. The number of AP courses increases as students move up. 5. We have no “core” or “traditional” track. 6.We make a learning management system (LMS) our primary platform for everything. 7. We are a BYOD campus with 100 mbs access. This is not a requirement-but realistic expectations must be made. 8. We have a board that supports risk-taking and will support instructionally sound programs. 9. We purposefully and openly recruit teachers who buy into and will likely thrive using this model. (blended and cohort) 10.Not all students will be successful in this model, as it requires a high level of autonomy, ownership, and self-direction (college).Monday, December 3, 12
  • 11. The Good, the Bad, and the not so bad... Feedback that we get • Parents: once used to the LMS, love the transparency. •This model was partially • Students: once used to the LMS, often driven by student HATE the transparency. feedback: • Accountability: can be a cause of • Wasted class time (bad) frustration for students and parents • Group work (good) (“My son did all of the work.”) • Accountability (not so • “Your teachers aren’t teaching and the bad) kids are always in groups.” (sound • -TRANSPARENCY! (bad) familiar?) • This is too hard! We didn’t have this much work at my last school • This helps me stay organized! • Coaches=cohort adds a level of accountability to teams!Monday, December 3, 12
  • 12. Things to Bear in Mind • This model requires teachers to re-think their approach (often). • Be prepared for a bumpy transition. • Make sure that students, staff, and administration completely understand what your cohort model is and is not, and that you are not defined as being “just an online school.” • Don’t forget your electives! Elective and fine arts teachers can benefit greatly from a flexible model such as this one. • Build your cohort system in a way that fits your school, your mission, and your reality. AFFIRMATION from a former student, now at a 4 year college, “college is just like what you guys said it would be last year!”Monday, December 3, 12

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