Janus' Blended Learning Grant to Denver Public Schools (DPS) supports personalized learning experiences for all children, emphasizes teacher training and leadership development, and provides instructional resources, software and curriculum licensing. Janus has a multi-year commitment to working with DPS on this initiative, which strives to increase student achievement and enable teachers to redefine how they deliver instruction to their students. This partnership is driven by a shared goal of furthering innovation in education. Janus believes a well-educated workforce is one of the keys to economic success; since our firm is headquartered in Denver, it made sense to focus on our local schools.
More than a dozen Janus employees had the opportunity to tour Sabin World Elementary School in Denver this past November - one of four Janus Blended Learning Lab Sites added to the Janus Blended Learning Grant Program in Denver Public Schools for the 2013-2014 school year.
These Lab Site visits are designed to introduce or familiarize Janus employees with the concept of blended learning and help them to understand why Janus is invested in these innovative schools. There are now six Janus Blended Learning Lab Sites established in Denver Public Schools: Grant Beacon Middle School, West Generation Academy, Sabin World School, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, University Park Elementary and High Tech Early College.
By visiting blended learning classrooms and hearing from the staff and students at Sabin, Janus employees saw firsthand the pairing of teacher-led instruction with the technology based curriculum One of the strengths of blended learning is its ability to provide students with the opportunity to individualize the pace of their learning while giving teachers actionable, specific student data they can use to focus their instruction. The students work independently or in small groups and the use of technology is visible everywhere.
"The students were eager to show us how they use computers and iPads to do their work, and it was great to see how engaged they were in the classroom," said Julie Cohen, one of the employees who visited the Lab Site. "The teachers we met at Sabin are passionate about their profession."
Sabin is an inclusive and diverse community of lifelong learners, with 77.8% qualifying for free or reduced lunch, 83% minority and 28% English language learners. The school serves Early Childhood (ECE) through 5th grade and has more than 700 students. The teachers want their students to be academically and socially skilled citizens who will be able to meet the challenges of a global tomorrow. One of the school's goals is to prepare their students for post-secondary education.
"The success of blended learning lies in the ability of teachers, excellent teachers, to teach in innovative ways," explained Janus Foundation President Casey Cortese. "The Janus Blended Learning Lab Sites put the right tools into the hands of talented teachers and create a 21st century learning environment."
For more information on how blended learning is making an impact on schools, visit the following sites:
Blended Learning in Denver Public Schools
Blended Learning Pilot: Oakland Unified School District http://www.rogersfoundation.org/system/resources/0000/0022/BlendedLearning_final.pdf
Blended Learning Resources - Donnell-Kay Foundation
Blend My Learning [innovate, transform, share]
This is Blended Learning