Dallas, TX (PRWEB) January 30, 2014
Uplift Education, the largest network of free, public, college preparatory schools in North Texas, received a $360,000 grant from the Morris Foundation to launch a blended learning pilot program at Uplift Mighty Preparatory and Uplift Meridian Preparatory in Forth Worth.
Funds from this grant would be used to accelerate learning in kindergarten through third grade and sixth through eighth grade by leveraging technology to facilitate small group learning, which will allow the schools to personalize learning for each student.
“At the Morris Foundation, our focus is on children who have difficulties performing at grade-level and to identify programs that help accelerate their learning. By partnering with Uplift Mighty and Uplift Meridian in Fort Worth, we hope to see growth in these scholars who need extra support and find a blended learning model that is replicable,” said Joe Monteleone, executive director of The Foundation.
Each day, students will have a 90-minute reading block and a 90-minute math block, with 30-minute rotations in each block. For both math and reading, students will rotate between three stations: small group instruction led by the teacher, computer based instruction using adaptive software, and independent activities that allow students to practice skills that have already been mastered. Students will rotate between each station and teachers will deliver differentiated lessons using data and student interest collected on Uplift’s internal data tool.
Uplift Mighty and Uplift Meridian opened their doors in the August 2012, and the first year in south east Fort Worth confirmed the need for more high-quality schools focused on student achievement.
“Our scholars at the beginning of the year were on average scoring 3-4 years behind grade level on the national normed test Measurement of Academic Performance (MAP). By the end of the year, Uplift Meridian and Uplift Mighty scholars had only grown on average a little over one academic year. We knew if we wanted to make sure every scholar was truly college ready when they graduated from high school, we need to accelerate their academic gains,” said Yasmin Bhatia, CEO of Uplift Education.
The 2012-13 school year results for Uplift Mighty and Uplift Meridian caused a strategic shift in how to appropriately staff and organize the school for success. The cluster of Fort Worth schools added a few instructional Deans, added resident teachers to the middle school math classes to assist with small group instruction, and have been leveraging blended learning programs to better meet the needs of students who have a wider range of skills within a specific grade level. Uplift Mighty Middle School also leveraged additional teacher professional development support as part of their work with the Middle School Matters initiative at the George Bush Institute.
Teachers will use real-time data already available to them on Uplift’s internal portal to change groups and student assignments as needed. By creating multiple opportunities for leveled, small group instruction, teachers will be able to develop targeted lesson plans and focus on individual student goals to ensure mastery of skills and content.
“Because our scholars come to Uplift Mighty and Uplift Meridian with such extreme needs, we have to rethink how we are delivering education and effectively meeting each scholar at their level and helping them grow to their highest potential. This opportunity from the Morris Foundation will have a meaningful impact on our scholars and at Uplift Mighty and Uplift Meridian,” said Uplift Managing Director Priscilla Parhms.
About Uplift Education
Uplift Education is a is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating a network of 28 tuition-free, college preparatory, public charter schools in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving on 13 campuses. Uplift Education schools provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on college preparation – 100% of graduates are accepted to college. Uplift Education educates 9,600 students, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Uplift schools are public schools -- students are selected by a blind lottery with no information collected on their past academic performance. For more information, visit uplifteducation.org or facebook.com/uplifteducation.
Mike Terry, Director of Communications
Sara Ortega, Public Relations Coordinator