Cy-Fair ISD pursues blended learning grant

Cy-Fair ISD officials are taking steps in pursuit of a Blended Learning initiative grant that could provide the district with up to $500,000 over the course of three years.

Blended learning refers to a blend of online and in-class schooling. Under a blended learning curriculum, students would learn partially online with a flexible schedule and partially in a physical classroom. The grant is offered by Raise Your Hand Texas, a statewide organization that aims to promote equal-access to a high-quality, free public education.

In January, CFISD was chosen by RYHT as one of ten finalists under consideration for the grant. If chosen, the district will also receive technical assistance to implement blended learning plans, which will serve as statewide demonstration sites for blending learning in Texas.

“We are thrilled with the enthusiasm—among both finalists and the schools and districts not selected—surrounding the potential of blended learning to personalize instruction for Texas students,” said Dr. David Anthony, CEO of Raise Your Hand Texas and former CFISD superintendent of schools.

CFISD representatives traveled to Austin to attend a three-day blended initiative workshop from Feb. 4-6 to receive professional assistance on refining the district's blended learning plan.

In April, RYHT will announce five winners. If not chosen as a finalist, CFISD will still have access to blended learning resources to refine and implement plans if the district decides to continue without funding.

“More than 90 percent of all semifinalists said they planned to move forward with their own blended learning programs, regardless of whether they were selected, and we look forward to supporting their efforts in addition to the five winners chosen to serve as demonstration sites for the state,” Anthony said.

RYHT believes that the blended learning strategies will improve student achievement gaps across some of the more diverse student demographics and geographic regions in Texas, especially in districts will wide achievement gaps.

The other nine finalists include Birdville, Cisco, Georgetown, Pasadena, Point Isabel, Tulia and Ysleta ISDs, as well as Grand Prairie Young Women’s Leadership Academy and KIPP Houston.