The Connecticut State Department of Education and the RESC Alliance have partnered for a statewide program to give educators the opportunity to reimagine teaching and learning in the classroom and online.
The Blended Learning Project is based on a learning design that combines online and digital resources with technology and classroom pedagogy. Student choice is a key component in blended learning where students have some element of control and choice over the time, place, path and pace of learning, which can take place in a classroom or remotely.
To support the design and implementation of blended learning, the state and RESC Alliance offered a series of virtual mini-courses focused on research-based models and then provided coaching services to support the educators when they implemented any of the blended learning models or their own. The goal was for schools to have the ability to implement blended-learning environments that accelerate learning and advance equity.
A culminating virtual showcase was held May 20, 2021, to recognize our Impact Educators who have used the Blended Learning Project resources to reimagine their classrooms, either on-site or remotely, in ways that resulted in positive outcomes. Educators were recognized from each of the districts represented by the six Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs), which were created by the state legislature to support public school districts. Known collectively as the RESC Alliance, the six agencies were chosen by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) to partner with on this valuable project.
CSDE Chief Academic Officer Irene Parisi spoke during the Zoom meeting and praised how the RESC Alliance chose the term “impact” to characterize the work being done with blended learning models.
“It sets the tone for the work that you’ve done and what you have accomplished,” she told the Impact Educators being honored. “It is a great way to identify educators who are going to have a strong effect on change and we can look up to and can certainly use as models going forward. … Thank you for giving your time, extending your day in such a tremendous way and being Impact Educators for all of us. I am truly in awe of everything you have been able to do.”
To learn more about the series of mini-courses, visit bit.ly/blendedlearning2021. This website was built to serve as a home base for all of the courses that the various coaches from the RESC Alliance built for teachers across the state to use to build their Blended Learning toolkit. The site also lists the Impact Educators and provides a slideshow that summarizes their Blended Learning projects. Click here to see the list.
The CSDE created an online learning hub in the beginning of the pandemic to give schools access to tools and resources to help them achieve their goals. See it at bit.ly/ct_learninghub.
The full video of the virtual showcase can be viewed by clicking here.
Below is a list of the Impact Educators who were recognized May 20, 2021, and their RESC:
ACES (New Haven County)
William Rice, Heather Gish, Lisa Simone / ACES (Hamden)
Cooperative Educational Services (Fairfield County)
Cecile St. Jean / P-TECH (Norwalk)
Erika Alexander, Deanna Caruso, Catherine Leeber, Jason Kruk, Alicia Perry-Rosa, Megan Roux & Shanna Zaharis / Dolan Middle School (Stamford)
CREC (Hartford County)
Eric Martin, Holly Russo, Nisar Mian & Elliot McBride / Portland Public Schools
Karen Adrian and Carol Cuomo-Lewia / CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School / East Hartford
EastConn (Tolland County)
Steve Autieri and Lynn Erickson / Stafford Public Schools
Gina Barillaro / Union Pubic Schools
EdAdvance (Litchfield County)
Scott Fellows and Jill Pace / Region 1 School District (Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon)
Keri Snowden / The Sherman School (Sherman)
LEARN (New London County)
Pat Feeney, Jessica Gillespie, Donna Rossi, Laurie LaBossiere, Tara Parkinson and Glenn LaBossiere / Griswold Public Schools
Ashlie Sobus, Mercedes Alger and Michelle Dean / Lyme Consolidated School (Lyme)
A list of Honorable Mention educators is also found at http://bit.ly/blendedlearning2021.