Colorado Hybrid School Takes Students to New Heights with FuelEd Curriculum, Combining In-Class and At-Home, Online Instruction
HERNDON, Va. – At Poudre School District Global Academy (PGA), an innovative hybrid school in Fort Collins, Colorado, students attend blended classes on campus and take online courses from home, and what they are achieving is extraordinary. Scores for grades 2-8 in math and reading on year-to-year Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) assessments show 140 to 240 percent growth, with the highest scores in grades 6-8—when students typically see a slight decline.
In this K-12 school serving almost 200 students, the successes don’t end there. The number of high school students being held back a grade dropped in the 2014-15 school year by nearly two-thirds—from 19 down to 7. And, the high school completion rate for secondary classes as well as college-credit bearing courses soared through PGA’s concurrent enrollment program with local colleges.
PGA partners with Fuel Education™ (FuelEd™), which provides personalized learning solutions designed to enable schools and districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Using FuelEd online curriculum and content, PGA students work at their own pace at home three days per week, and attend teacher-led classes on campus the other two days each week.
The FuelEd curriculum is tailored to each student’s unique needs, and allows for integration of teacher-created content. “Our teachers are rock stars,” said Heather Hiebsch, PGA principal. “They look at the data to see what the students are mastering and where they have gaps. It’s not ‘What do I plan to teach today?’ but rather ‘What do these individual students need to learn today?’”
For its core courses, PGA employs its own local teachers who oversee instruction for students whether learning at home or at school. For the elective courses offered through FuelEd, PGA uses FuelEd’s certified instructors.
“FuelEd really listens to us,” said Hiebsch. “I can tell them that I want to try something or that I think something is coming next, and I have their ear. They are flexible and responsive to what we want and need.”
In addition to the high quality online curriculum and dedicated educators, Hiebsch attributes PGA’s success to the hybrid learning model, parental involvement, and “the community we’ve built,” she said.
Since opening in 2009 as a credit recovery and dropout prevention school, PGA has transformed into a small, personalized school serving a mix of former homeschoolers and students coming from traditional schools. Their learning needs are as diverse as in any traditional school—from those with learning disabilities to those seeking Advanced Placement (AP®) courses.
PGA students consider the hybrid model “the best of both worlds,” said Hiebsch. “They’re in charge, going it on their own, but they also have social connection and one-on-one help from teachers.” In the past, students would attend PGA for a year while working on something else that was happening in their lives, she said. “Now we are attracting a broad range of students and have more kids returning every year. We even have a wait list at all grade levels, which says it all.”
Gregg Levin, FuelEd general manager, said, “It is an honor to partner with the outstanding educators at Poudre School District Global Academy in delivering content and instruction for its winning hybrid learning model. PGA’s success truly demonstrates how dedication and innovation can change student outcomes.”
Since the school opened, more than 500 PGA students have used FuelEd curriculum. In addition, each school year about 500 students at other Poudre School District schools take supplemental online courses, such as AP courses, world languages and electives, provided by FuelEd.
About Fuel Education
Fuel Education™ partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for preK-12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK™, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers the industry’s largest catalog of digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit getfueled.com andTwitter.
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