Our Blended Learning Model
AdvancePath’s “Flex” Blended Learning Model connects students with the resources and the learning environment needed to succeed.
Click here for an interactive look at a typical "Day in the Life" four-hour schedule at an AdvancePath high school Academy. AdvancePath students attend their Academy each school day and in addition to a significant online core curriculum component available through one-to-one computer access, they also experience Multiple Learning Pathways, with:
- Team Teaching and Team Learning
- One-to-one and small group instruction, in both pre-programmed and on-demand sessions
- Online and offline electives
- Offline reading and writing projects, including access to a “Lexile” library
- Development of social, life, and work skills
- College and career readiness, work-related assessments and support of post-secondary educational goals
A Culture of Learning
The success of AdvancePath Academies is not accidental. It starts with the shared belief that the measure of success is accelerated progress towards graduation. It culminates in the adoption of solid life skills – educational, social, and emotional – that young adults will need to be successful at each phase of their lives.
Take a virtual tour of an Academy in Action and you will see that close attention is paid to every detail – from the quality of the furniture, to the reliability and usability of the technology. There is a positive culture of learning – setting a professional and respectful workplace atmosphere that mirrors the social settings into which students will transition – college and career ready.
At the AdvancePath Academy, students are valued members of the Academy team and are welcomed into a warm and inviting learning environment. The Academy experience is built upon mutual respect, common goals, academic rigor, and an unfailing commitment to high expectations. Through strong socio-emotional analysis, interventions, and resiliency building, behavior challenges melt away and students quickly re-engage and accept control of their own learning. Students are embraced in a culture of learning where personal progress and success are inevitable outcomes. There are three interrelated major components to the AdvancePath Culture of Learning:
The Learning Environment re-engages and motivates students
- Safe, secure, inviting setting that acclimates students to workplace and college environments
- Ergonomic seating, enhanced lighting, soothing colors, and state-of-the-art technology
- Social Emotional Learning curriculum supports students' academic resiliency and life-skills in preparation for life after high school; developing the attitudes and skills needed for college- and career- readiness and success
- Learning supported by online content, small group instruction, and one-to-one tutoring and mentoring – all aligned and correlated to District, State, and Common Core standards
Instructional Delivery is geared to students who have generally not done well in a multi-subject, direct instruction model
- Focuses on one or two courses at a time
- Students see success more frequently and gain confidence as courses are completed
- Teachers monitor, assist, and meet with small groups of students to set goals, facilitate discussions, and track student progress against Individualized Learning Plans
Teaching teams work directly with students, creating an open, positive culture of development
- Teachers develop relationships with their students, whom they value and treat as individuals
- Motivational coaching, positive reinforcement, and a unique style of student management are all components of the Academy culture; students come to value the support of their teachers who possess content knowledge and who build strong personal bonds with their students
- Every student receives a work plan detailing the steps they will take on the way to graduation
- Much more than a list of tasks, the AdvancePath "My GIG" - "My Goal Is Graduation" Chart and accompanying Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) provide each student with a specific roadmap of what is to be done, how long it will take, and the progress indicators along the way. Students work towards their personal and academic goals, and track their progress with the "My GIG" Chart and with teaching team and home support
Our High School Academies
AdvancePath Academies are innovative learning centers with programs designed to meet the unique needs of non-traditional students who have not found success in the traditional school environment. Students attend the Academy five days a week in learning sessions typically four hours long. Students may attend during daytime or evening hours. The Academy is also open many Saturdays and during the summer so that students can attend year-round during sessions suited to their particular life challenges.
The Instructional Day
The students’ instructional day incorporates instructional lessons and learning experiences in a “Flex” Blended Learning model that includes:
- Dedicated time for literacy supports that includes access to a comprehensive Lexile Library containing a wide range of informational texts aligned to state and common core requirements and high-interest fictional books
- Focused and concentrated independent learning opportunities for students to move through daily instruction at their pace to secure high school credits
- Regular opportunities for collaborative learning that utilize interactive flat-screen TVs and whiteboards for project-based learning experiences, student presentations, small group remediation, and video conferencing
- Just-in-time, one-on-one sessions at teacher learning stations that are available to students throughout the day
From the moment you walk in the door, you will know that the Academy is different from a traditional high school classroom. Take a look at an Academy in Action with this virtual tour.
The Academy is created to have the look of a professional environment and is organized into four principal zones:
- Parent and visitor reception area
- Hi-Tech environment with one computer for each student
- Offline reading and writing zone
- Areas for small-group instruction with teachers, including Smart Boards
The furniture is ergonomically chosen to be comfortable and keep students focused on their academic work. This physical environment, coupled with a focus on students, attention to teaching, and continuous positive reinforcement, all create an instructional climate of respect and studiousness, set in a clean, professionally-designed learning facility.
The AdvancePath Academy provides students with:
- A safe, state-of-the-art professional learning environment more conducive to learning
- Multiple, flexible learning options that reflect the learning needs and style of today's 'digital native' students
- Individualized Learning Plan – students work on a customized set of courses at their own pace and move on as soon as they demonstrate mastery in each subject area
- Personalized support – each teacher works with the same group of students for the duration of their academic journey
- A high-quality, rigorous curriculum – students are intellectually stimulated and are able to address any gaps or problem areas where they may be behind
- A realistic path toward a high school diploma – students satisfy the same graduation requirements as their peers in the traditional high school and earn State-recognized high school diplomas
- College- and career-readiness programs, including academic self-efficacy and other resiliency skills
- Graduation with their District- and State- recognized high school diploma
AdvancePath uses state-of-the-art technology and industry-leading computer-based curricula in its Academies, providing each student with an individualized educational experience. Each student who enrolls in the Academy is given a thorough academic evaluation and personal interview in order for the Academy teachers to create an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). This ILP is continually updated and tailored to meet the specific, unique, and evolving needs of each student.
With industry-leading online curricula as a core means of learning, students also work closely with their teachers each day to address problem areas, review progress, and plan for their post-secondary paths. Integral to the AdvancePath curriculum is the student’s life-skills development – explicit instruction and coaching on crucial skills such as study skills, conflict resolution, resume writing, and college applications.
The AdvancePath curriculum is aligned to State and District standards and meets the same graduation requirements as required of students enrolled in a traditional high school. Students who complete the Academy’s program earn full high-school diplomas from their District.
Essential to the success of the Academy is the quality and dedication of the Academy staff. AdvancePath works with each School District to identify the best District personnel to run the Academy – using qualified and certified District teachers. An Academy teaching team includes teachers, a registrar or Educational Consultant, and instructional aides. Teachers work with students in small-group sessions and have a fixed caseload of students per four-hour session so that they provide continuity and individual attention for the students with whom they work.
AdvancePath provides extensive training and support to the Academy personnel. AdvancePath constantly monitors performance across its Academies to ensure that all Academy staff members have access to the best practices developed in other Academies. All Academy staff and students share the personal belief that they can constantly improve – for that is the fundamental tenant that leads to success.
Students choose to attend an AdvancePath Academy for a variety of reasons. Students who enroll in the Academy come from a diversity of backgrounds, with varying academic needs. AdvancePath provides students with a new option to find success, addressing some of the specific challenges that students face.
Academic support to address learning gaps and get ahead
Some students in an AdvancePath Academy struggled in traditional schools because they had gaps in learning that were never addressed. Students move through their AdvancePath courses at their own pace and are provided intensive support and coaching from their teachers to ensure that they master each skill. This self-paced, mastery-based academic approach ensures that each student is successful and also enables some students to accelerate their progress and graduate sooner.
Schedules that accommodate family-care and employment obligations
As students become teenagers and take on more responsibilities outside of school, external obligations can interfere with their academic careers. In some cases, when students have primary obligations to care for family members or maintain full-time jobs, they cannot attend school during the regular school day, forcing them to end their education prematurely. Within an AdvancePath Academy, students can balance their academic careers with their other obligations by choosing to attend the four-hour session (morning, afternoon, or evening) that best fits their personal schedules. Academies are also open on many Saturdays and during the summer, giving students the opportunity to make up missed sessions and get ahead.
The tools and team to help teens handle social challenges
Teenagers can sometimes make bad choices that can lead them down the wrong path – such as running with the wrong crowd, problems with the law, or suspension from school. Alone, it can be very difficult for students to turn themselves around. At an AdvancePath Academy, teachers become personal advocates for students. AdvancePath teachers and students develop mentoring relationships that are very different from the teacher-student relationships typically developed in a traditional high school environment. Together, students and teachers work explicitly on developing students’ motivation and self-esteem, life skills – goal setting, time management, study skills, conflict resolution, interviewing, etc. – skills that are essential for the students’ post-secondary success. Students in an AdvancePath Academy have a clear path to get back on track.
Our Middle School Academies
Preparing Adolescents for Success in Middle and High School Starts with a Positive, Supportive Learning Environment
Students’ lack of success in traditional educational environments can often be tied to the many distractions and social norms associated with the comprehensive middle school. The AdvancePath Model focuses on student academic performance with positive behavioral intervention in a supportive learning environment. Recognizing students have widely varying academic needs, AdvancePath utilizes Blended Learning Models that take full advantage of technology-based learning resources.
The Instructional Day
The students’ instructional day incorporates lessons and activities in “Flex” and "Rotation" Blended Learning Models that include:
- A 30 minute advocacy/homeroom session with their caseload teacher at the start of the day
- Student engagement in technology-based instruction for 3 ½ hours. Specific focus areas are math/science and language arts/social studies
- One hour of traditional classroom instruction for each block
- Participation in approximately 1 hour of PE or other active skills exercises
The AdvancePath Blended Learning Model
Led by a team of highly qualified teachers, the AdvancePath Middle School Academy:
- Leverages technologies and multiple teaching modalities to identify and remediate academic and skill deficits that could impact student progress
- Provides instruction in a variety of ways, tailored to each individual’s individual needs, so students focus upon strengthening key abilities needed to prepare for high school level studies
- Provides one-on-one instruction, small group collaboration, and project-based learning to ensure content knowledge acquisition by all students
- Develops positive relationships between students, family members, school staff, and community social service providers (as needed), offering students both a viable support network and the tools needed to improve behaviors and reduce social incidents
- Creates small, personalized, and safe learning environments that help to reduce feelings of alienation -improving self-confidence which in turn contributes to increased attendance
AdvancePath is Committed to an Unwavering Belief that All Students Can Become Successful Learners
The success of AdvancePath Academies is not accidental. It starts with this shared belief - and it culminates in the adoption of solid life skills – educational, social, and emotional – that students will need to be successful at each phase of their lives. AdvancePath provides the team, the tools and the incentives needed for student success:
- Mentoring - All teaching team members as well as instructional support and administrative staff are trained as mentors and are active participants in the delivery of the curriculum and behavioral support system
- Skill Building - The AdvancePath Model provides middle school students with the academic skills and the confidence needed to catch up with their cohort and positions them for success throughout their high school studies
- High Expectations - The team builds a culture of respect, common goals, academic rigor, and an unfailing commitment to high expectations
The AdvancePath Academy staff includes core curriculum teachers, PE instructors, aides and counselors/social workers. Teachers monitor, assist, and meet with students in one-on-one and small group sessions to set goals, facilitate discussions, and track student progress against Individualized Learning Plans (ILP’s). Motivational coaching and positive reinforcement are strong components of the AdvancePath Academy culture. The Academy staff must:
- Operate as an effective Teaching Team
- Take the stress out of learning – students must be invigorated and teachers must be energized
Rigorous Review, Reporting, and Application from Data Analytics
The AdvancePath Team continually reviews performance data and student progress reports, adjusting the AdvancePath Model as needed to ensure that anticipated outcomes are being met. This commitment to a comprehensive improvement framework is aligned with the recommendations and research compiled by the organization, Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW). Emphasis is placed upon classroom practices that engage students, use data to inform instruction, position technology to accelerate learning, and provide support for professional development.
Establishing An Academy
The AdvancePath Team manages deployment of fully-integrated, field-tested resources in a seamless transition to the new, open, and inviting classroom environment. To learn how you can establish your Academy or to visit an Academy In Action, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AdvancePath provisions the District facility including room design, ergonomics and furnishings; curricula, materials, and supplies; and all educational and administrative technology. All components are carefully chosen and efficiently implemented to best support the learning experience. Seeing is believing - Take a look at An Academy in Action.
During the launch phase, the AdvancePath Team also works closely with District staff to align curricula, select teaching team members, and provide initial training and professional development. The AdvancePath Academy is operational within weeks.
AdvancePath Academics has pioneered an innovative partnership approach with school districts to create a new response for high risk and disenfranchised students
Students enter a technology-rich "internet café"-like environment supported by teachers who have been specially trained to work with non-traditional learners. Each Academy operates as a School District program (not a charter school) and every student receives an Individual Learning Pathway (ILP) and timeline based on State and District requirements for earning their high school diploma. AdvancePath covers all operating costs in each Academy including teacher and staff compensation, as well as Academy provisioning, infrastructure, curriculum, and other ongoing costs.
In launching your Academy, AdvancePath will:
- Fully Align all content to State and District Standards
- Compensate teaching staff per your policies and union rules
- Purchase all necessary software licenses and instructional materials
- Provide on-going Professional Development for all Academy Staff
- Implement student performance assessments per the District calendar
- Provide the capital investment to purchase the furniture, carpeting, and technology to establish the right learning environment for Academy operations
- Define and manage the day-to-day operational workflow
- Provide Academy Job Descriptions and coordinate hiring with District HR
- Provide a Community Outreach Director to lead dropout recovery efforts
Post-launch, AdvancePath provides operational oversight, ongoing professional development and all IT support services.