Blended Learning

Monett School District Offers Blended Learning Summer School

This summer, nearly 100 students in grades 1-6 participated in a blended learning summer school program offered by Monett School District in Missouri.

This was the second year the district offered blended summer school. The enrollment in this year's program grew by 30 students compared to the previous year, prompting the district to add a third teacher.

The purpose of the program was to provide summer school to students who were unable to attend a regular classroom-based program, according to the Monett Times. Each student received a school-issued laptop to complete their work at home or from the road. They also attended class in a one-room-schoolhouse setting on Monday mornings or Wednesday afternoons.

Students of all ages worked on projects related to the communications arts, with younger students completing simplified versions. In one of the projects, students created a personal photo presentation using Google Docs to introduce themselves to their classmates. In another project, they created movies to describe a specific concept.

Students also worked on math and English language arts assignments for a little while each day. Students in grade one and two used IXL Math and the older students used ALEKS. For language arts, students used Lexia Learning.

According to Lauralie Powell, a teacher at Monett School District, the one-room-schoolhouse environment with multiple grades created an interesting environment for students. "I was excited to see the little guys," Powell told the Monett Times. "They really stepped up. It's surprising how well they did. It was wonderful seeing the sixth-graders respectfully listen to the first-graders. That was really a great part of it."

Unlike the regular school year, when students are expected to meet benchmarks for learning, the blended learning summer school removed those restrictions, providing students and teachers with more opportunities for creativity and flexibility, according to the Monett Times. Powell said the response from parents was positive, too, because it met their needs while offering flexible scheduling.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].