In the process of making the transition from the traditional classroom to a digital classroom, I had the opportunity to join the grant writing team for the Raising Blended Learners grant. I traveled to Austin to compete with other districts around Texas for a chance to win $500,000 for my school district's personalized learning initiative. After 10 months of preparing and attending workshops, Pasadena ISD was selected as one of the five demonstrations sites in Texas for the Raising Blended Learners grant.
"Raising Blended Learners is a demonstration initiative showcasing strategies for using blended learning to improve student achievement across diverse student demographics and geographic regions in the state, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps. Through a 10-month competitive consideration process, five school district winners were selected as demonstration sites, to serve as proof points for the effective implementation of blended learning, each receiving up to $500,000 in grant funding over three years and comprehensive implementation support. Fifteen additional districts were selected as pilot sites and will receive implementation support without grant funding to promote the expansion of blended learning statewide."
"Pasadena ISD, southeast of Houston, is one of the 15 largest school districts in Texas enrolling more than 55,000 students. To improve college enrollment and completion, as well as declining STAAR reading scores, Pasadena ISD will use a flex model to increase STAAR reading scores in grades 5-12; increase participants’ scores on targeted postsecondary readiness indicators; and ultimately increase the number of Pasadena ISD graduates who complete college within six years of high school graduation. Pasadena’s model includes personalized learning time, project-based learning, one-on-one mentoring, and Socratic seminars."