CIS Academy is the alternative education high school within the Pasadena Unified School District. CIS Academy partnered with Thesys to provide students a Biology CP course taught in a blended format in the 2012/2013 and 2013/14 school year. Using the Thesys program, biology teacher Marge Allen is seeing increased student engagement among her students who typically struggle to even make it to class.

“Thesys suits our needs because the courses are UC approved and meet common core standards, the activities are adaptable, and the Thesys staff is very responsive. Here, my student roster changes weekly, so adaptability is the biggest thing.”

“Thesys helps provide the spark to get the students interested in coming to class.”

“Attendance is an issue here; getting the students to come to class is the struggle. I do see students who didn’t come to class before now coming on Wednesdays to work in the computer lab.”

“My students get excited about coming to the computer lab. It gives them something different to look forward to. They like working on the computer and engaging with the content in a new way.”

“My light bulb moment with Thesys was when I worked with the Thesys team to set up the ‘This Week’ layout on our course’s homepage. That weekly calendar with links to the assignments really helps my students stay organized, and it gives them access to their assignments anytime and anywhere. Realizing that Thesys would partner with me to make that type of customization really made me appreciate the partnership”

-Marge Allen, Biology Teacher at Pasadena’s CIS Academy

“I learn more in this class because of all of the activities we do on the computer. It is more fun than my other classes. The examples and labs give us good hands-on experience.”

-Reza N., Biology Student at CIS Academy

“Every class should be this easy to teach! These students really like the biology class. You can tell because they stay on task and engaged. I think it works because the Thesys online content gives them hands-on experience similar to that in the science labs. The discoveries the students have are marvelous!”

-Elizabeth Kuroda, Computer Lab Supervisor at CIS Academy

“I like this biology class much better than my other classes. There are more students in this class – my other classes feel empty. We get to interact with each other and do hands-on activities.

I especially like working on the Thesys content in the computer lab, because the courses use a lot of different examples, and you can see how things work with a click of a button. The Thesys content is easier to understand and more up-to-date than our textbooks. My favorite activity in class so far was using the microscopes in the science lab to look at samples of bacteria from our hands. It was crazy how much bacteria some people had! I didn’t have any though.”

-Richard T., Biology Student at CIS Academy

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