Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
NEW YORK – Five Jewish day schools have been selected for the BOLD (Blending Online Learning in Day Schools) Project, funded by The Affordable Jewish Education Project (AJE), The AVI CHAI Foundation and The Kohelet Foundation. The goal of BOLD Day Schools is to design and implement sustainable, cost-saving blended learning programs to ignite the potential of students through the delivery of innovative and personalized learning. Additionally, BOLD Day Schools will become a network of schools and educators working to accelerate the rollout of sustainable blended learning programs throughout the Jewish day school field.
The BOLD Day Schools are:
Denver Academy of Torah, Denver, CO Elementary & Middle School
Magen David Yeshivah High School, Brooklyn, NY High School
The Moriah School, Englewood, NJ Elementary & Middle School
The Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, River Edge, NJ Middle School
Tarbut v’Torah Community Day School, Irvine, CA Elementary School
The five BOLD Day Schools were selected out of a pool of close to 30 submissions through an intensive application process that assessed each school’s vision for blended learning, implementation plan, and financial plan outlining cost savings and program sustainability. The funding organizations also considered school size, location, denomination, and division in an effort to provide a variety of proof points that recognizes the diversity of Jewish day schools.
Blended learning integrates online learning with face-to-face instruction, enabling teachers to align their instructional approaches to the particular academic needs of each student based on real-time, individualized data. In addition to improved educational outcomes for students, blended learning educational models provide opportunities for cost savings through reducing schools’ personnel, facility, and textbook costs.
“We are all very excited about this groundbreaking project,” said Jeff Kiderman, Executive Director of AJE, “and have selected a group of well-regarded established schools that have shown a desire to be bold and partner with us to lead the future of Jewish education.”
Over the summer, the BOLD Day Schools have been deeply immersed in program design and planning with the help of one of two blended learning consulting firms (Education Elements and Evergreen Education Group). The consultants have been assisting school leaders in refining their financial plans, selecting software, and planning professional development for their faculties. Implementation is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013. Within three years, every student in the selected division(s)will be learning using a blended education model on a daily basis. In addition, schools will create a plan to realize cost savings through the efficiencies of their new model.
The three funding organizations have committed up to $3 million to the BOLD Project. This funding will cover most of the costs associated with transitioning each school to a blended learning model, with the schools gradually assuming responsibility for all ongoing costs, including software, hardware, and personnel. “It is important to us that the BOLD Day Schools be able to sustain these innovations within their own annual budgets moving forward without relying on outside funding,” said Rachel Mohl Abrahams, Senior Program Officer at The AVI CHAI Foundation.
The process will be documented to measure the effectiveness of each model and to provide guidance for additional schools looking to transition to blended learning in the future. “We hope the BOLD Day Schools will serve as paradigms of how established Jewish day schools can transform themselves into more innovative, affordable institutions that prepare our students for successful Jewish lives in the 21st century,” said Holly Cohen, Executive Director of The Kohelet Foundation.
Read more about the BOLD Day Schools and follow their progress on this site (http://www.bolddayschools.org).