2021-22 Blended Learning Program for Junior Academy Students (Grades 6-8)
In this exciting new DECS learning opportunity, students would be onsite one day per week, likely Wednesday. This would be a school-within-a-school model, so the students in the blended learning model would have the same passing times, lunch and recess times as students onsite five days a week. The model would include a multi-grade level cross-curricular approach.. Because student agency is critical to this model, students would be involved with project-based learning when onsite. This would be a unique experience for this cohort as their programming would be designed for just the students in this group. This would offer a coherent educational experience, just like those attending onsite five days a week.
Other Questions and Answers
Will there be specific online class times during the school day for my students or will these be classes my student does on their own time? There will be a combination of both synchronous (regular classes during the school day) and asynchronous (independent learning times for a student) learning. Students will have scheduled times for certain classes on certain days, when the teacher has their assigned Blended Learning Class.
Who will be the teachers? Current Junior Academy teachers will be assigned to teach in the program. Several are part of the planning committee and look forward to doing this.
Can my student still be in band, choir, sports? Yes for sports. The guardian would be responsible for bringing the student to the school for practice and games. Students wishing to be in band or choir would have in person lessons on the day they were onsite and likely some ensemble opportunities, but would not be part of the traditional band or choir program.
What will my student’s day on campus look like? They will rotate through classes with their blended learning instructors and have opportunities for meals and recess with students in the traditional program.
Will bussing be available for this one day? Yes
Since this is a pilot program, do I have to sign my child up for the entire year or can I move my child back to the traditional program at some point if the program does not meet my child’s needs? The programming is based on year long courses. At semester time there could be a change, but it would not provide a consistent learning experience as traditional and blended learning would be at different spots at the semester.
If the program combines several grades how am I assured my child’s needs will be met? We teach the Minnesota state standards for each grade level, for many courses the standards are the same and the level of complexity changes. For example, the essential standards for language arts are the same for grades 6-8.
What technology equipment will the school provide? A Chromebook, which is the same for the traditional model.
Will the school provide internet for my family? If your household qualifies for free or reduced lunch we are able to assist in providing internet to your home for this program.
How do I sign up for this program?
Students currently enrolled in our schools should indicate the blended learning program option on your intent to return form.
New students need to complete an application for 2021-22 and indicate this choice on their application.
Currently enrolled students will have preference for the program. Should there be more applicants than spaces requested by February 26, 2021, a lottery for the program will occur on March 5, 2021. After that, students will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.
What type of student might enjoy this program? The type of learner that we feel would be successful in our blended learning program is described in the graphic below.