eTech Ohio has awarded the New Albany High School an $80,000 grant for the development of new blended learning programs. The school will receive an additional $50,000 in fiscal year 2013 for the continuation of successful projects. The grant will provide funding for an innovative blended program, Project RISE, to extend learning opportunities for students in New Albany High School.
New Albany High School was one of just seven Ohio schools to receive a development grant, which were awarded to individual school buildings without an existing model of blended learning. Funds were awarded to selected schools through a competitive application process open to all Ohio public schools and consortia.
“We are focused on innovating and creating educational opportunities of the future and blended learning models are a critical component of this future,” said Superintendent April Domine. “The Blended Learning Grant will fund the research, development and staff training necessary to create new models for learning. It will allow us to create learning structures of the future and equip our teachers to design this type of coursework.”
Blended learning combines online and face-to-face instruction to maximize learning outcomes for students. Plans submitted by participating schools utilize one of six blended learning models, ranging from online supplements to instruction in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting to instruction that is primarily online with face-to-face check-ins as needed.
“This grant allows students to have access to a rich array of educational opportunities at the K-12 and college levels,” said Greg Davidson, Interim Executive Director of eTech Ohio. “We are pleased to provide these outstanding schools with the opportunity to implement student-centered blended instruction for 21st century learners.”
New Albany-Plain Local Schools has a long history of innovation in technology for learning. In the late 1990’s, technology was one of the driving catalysts for change and development in the district. The eTech Ohio Blended Learning Grant provides the district with the funds for implementing another innovative program.
Project RISE will provide teachers with professional development to assist them with creating a Replicable, Innovative, and Sustainable blended model that will Extend learning opportunities for students. Project RISE reflects best practices and research in online pedagogy and 21st century learning skills, as well as recommendations from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) National Leadership Institute, and U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology, Understanding the Implications of Online Learning for Educational Productivity.
Superintendent April Domine credits a dedicated team of New Albany-Plain Local Schools employees who researched and wrote the Blended Learning Grant for the district.
“We are fortunate to have the visionary leadership of our educational technology team,” Mrs. Domine said. “I applaud Jon Stonebraker, Andy Moore, Cathryn Chellis, Ray Cunningham, and Deb Dargham for their exceptional work on this grant application. Without their vision and expertise to secure the grant and lead this work, we would not be able to make the quantum leap forward that this grant will provide for our students.”