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Alliance College-Ready Public Schools

The network is focused on providing students with personalized learning opportunities, including small group instruction, blended learning models and extended days (and year) to provide maximal learning opportunities for students.

State: California Number of Students: 12,500
School Type: Charter Management Org   Free and Reduced Lunch: 92.0%
Grade Level: 6-12 English Language Learners: 17.0%

School Context

High Expectations: The first of five core values for the Alliance College-Ready Public School Network is that all studentscan learn and should have a curriculum that challenges them.

Personalized Learning: The network is focused on providing students with personalized learning opportunities,including small group instruction, allowing all students to build close relationships with teachers.

More Time to Learn: Schools in the network offer extended days with much of the instruction occurring in two-hourblocks, as well as an extended school year with 190 days of instruction to provide maximal learning opportunities forstudents.

Strong Staff: Educational leaders receive training and learning opportunities and the network provides compensationincentives based on school performance.

Family Support: Alliance believes that parents are very important partners and that learning should happen inside andoutside of school.


State of Technology

All In, Full BLAST: Alliance refers to their blended learning initiativesas BLAST (Blended Learning for Alliance School Transformation).The network began piloting BLAST in 2010-11 at two Alliance highschools. Since then it has expanded, integrating technology intoteaching and learning with various instructional models throughoutthe network including station rotation and a la carte models. Oneschool, Alliance Alice M. Baxter College-Ready High School, isdeveloping a competency-based learning model called PACE. Theyalso have a unique program called Forum, during which the schoolmimics the learning environment of a university so that students haveflexibility and choices while also having age-appropriate support.During the 2015-2016 school year, Alliance began taking a hard lookat their blended learning program to learn about what was workingand not working in classrooms. This investigation has led the networkto the decision that it is not married to any specific blended model,but rather aims to build the capacity of teachers to thoughtfully andintentionally use technology to enhance student achievement.

Summer Learning: Every summer, Alliance provides summer schoolopportunities for students to complete online courses. Students usethe summer to catch up on their core curriculum, take AP classesand/or simply take courses not typically offered during the regularschool year. Additionally, the network uses the summer as a time toprovide professional learning opportunities to teachers. This summer,Alliance is focusing on developing teacher talent around instructionaltechnology so that teachers feel comfortable in a technology-richenvironment.

Investing in Innovation: In 2013-2014 the Alliance received anInvesting in Innovation (i3) Grant that was invested in project-basedlearning strategies to increase achievement in STEM. As part of thiswork, students were asked to complete two technology projects,one with a science focus and one with a college and career readinessfocus. Students could submit their projects to earn a nationalcertification in technology literacy. In the 2015-2016 school year, everyschool has the opportunity to participate but must sustain the workthemselves because funding no longer comes through the homeoffice.

Students Take the Lead: One part of the Investing in Innovation workthat has remained throughout much of the network is the StudentTechnology Leaders (STL) program, where students take leadershipover technology in their school. STL’s have different responsibilitiesthat vary by site, but can include presenting and sharing PD toteachers, helping peers with their projects, maintaining class andteacher websites and leading the deployment of devices.

1:1 Devices: All students across the network have access to MacBookAir laptops, iPads or Google Chromebooks, depending on the site.Across the network’s 27 schools, there are 11,000 iPads, 5,000 laptopsand desktops and 2,000 Chromebooks. Alliance is currently adding Google Chromebooks to device inventory to support the network-wide use of Google Applications for Educators.


Tech Needs & Requirements

Technology tools must be reasonably priced. Online professional development badging courses.


Initiatives

Talent: Create talent management system to recruit, develop and retain great teachers.

*Content From 2016

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