As school leaders, we know how difficult it can be to change the culture and reputation of a school. It takes dedication, hard work, and a team of educators who are committed to making a difference. These ingredients were in place to achieve transformational success at Hall Success Academy (HSA) in Aldine ISD. We can all learn important lessons about how to implement successful shifts by learning about the story of the HSA campus redesign team, including teachers, school principal, assistant principal, working alongside our Education Elements team.
Transforming the culture and learning environment through blended learning
Before we began our work with HSA, the school was seen as a "credit recovery school" for high school students, and had a reputation as a dumping ground for struggling students. The leadership team at HSA knew they needed to make changes, and they turned to us for help. With the support of our team, HSA planned for a school-wide implementation of blended learning to transform the culture and learning environment.
A Walk-Through Highlights Positive Change and Educator Dedication
Recently, HSA held an important leadership walk-through, and many district leaders attended, including the Superintendent of Schools, Chief Academic Officer, Chief of Schools, and the Chief of Human Resources. They were amazed by the work at HSA and the positive changes they saw in the school. This was a significant moment for HSA, as it demonstrated that their hard work was paying off.
During the walk-through, district leaders who had voiced concerns about the school were now noticing the positive energy radiating through the halls. Within moments, it was apparent that HSA educators have the energy, desire to be there, and enjoyment in working with HSA students. These observations highlight the dedication of the teachers at HSA, who have been working tirelessly to improve the school and the lives of their students.
A New Personalized Education Focus
One of the outcomes of our work with HSA is the possibility of hiring a Blended Learning Implementation Specialist for the upcoming school year. This would be a significant achievement for HSA, enabling them to continue implementing blended learning and providing their students with a high-quality education. Another outcome of our work with HSA is the opportunity for the campus to opt out of specific district-wide mandated teacher trainings during the next school year. This will enable the teachers at HSA to receive more training specific to blended learning, enhancing their ability to provide more personalized education for their students. The leadership team at HSA is working hard to change the school’s culture and improve its reputation. They worked with our Education Elements team each week to plan and implement changes, and we have provided them with the space they need to request autonomy from the district.
It is empowering to see the school’s progress it has made over the last year in our work together. We were paired with HSA through the School Action Fund (SAF). SAF is a grant program where districts receive between $500,000 and $2 million to support a specific, research- supported “action” to improve student outcomes. It’s funded and administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) through the Learning Acceleration Support Opportunities (LASO) grant program. As one of only two technical assistance providers for the blended learning option, this grant funds our support for three years, in addition to funding for additional salaries, stipends, technology, and other relevant equipment.
The Positive Impact of Blended Learning
To receive the SAF support, HSA needed a D or F rating to apply. We are pleased to report that after one year of our work together, HSA improved to a C-rated campus. Aldine ISD applied for six more schools to participate in this work, a testament to the positive impact of blended learning at HSA and the dedication of the school's leadership team.
The success of HSA is a result of the hard work and dedication of the school's leadership team and the educators who work there. By implementing blended learning, HSA has provided its students with a more personalized education and improved its reputation. Our school consulting team is proud to have been a part of this success story, and we look forward to continuing to work with HSA and other schools to implement blended learning and improve education for every student to reach their potential.