ANAHEIM, Calif. – (EON: Enhanced Online News)–The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), in partnership with Anaheim-based Thesys International, LLC, is increasing efforts to provide additional online learning platforms to meet the needs of struggling high school students as well as those who wish to accelerate their learning by taking courses that are not currently offered in the District. Pasadena Unified and Thesys signed a contract September 2014 to move forward on four initiatives to help students remain in school, improve academic performance, participate in online education, and prepare for college. Expanding its adoption of the blended learning programs created by Thesys, Pasadena Unified is aiming to serve students attending the District’s four high schools and three alternative education schools.
“Through this carefully planned blended learning approach combining digital technology and traditional classroom instruction, students will receive the best of both worlds in terms of quality high school instruction,” said Dr. Fal Asrani, PUSD’s Executive Director of Secondary Education. “Thesys online courses provide an opportunity for students to take rigorous courses that may not be offered at their site. We are preparing all students to achieve college readiness and believe that online education is part of that preparation.”
Through the new contract, Thesys will work with Pasadena Unified to continue existing blended learning programs operating in the District’s alternative education schools, initiate a Thesys online school program in the District’s high schools for GPA and credit recovery, implement the Thesys ELLoquence English language learner program across the District and create a repository of courses that will support the District’s work with designing an online school.
“Our partnership with Pasadena Unified brings the possibility of a college education closer for many students,” said Alan Rudi, Director, Thesys International, LLC. “There is certainly more to follow in regards to the benefits of blended learning in how it improves students’ motivation to remain in school and makes college an attainable goal.”
Thesys established a blended learning pilot program in 2012 with the Pasadena Unified Center for Independent Studies (CIS) Academy, an alternative education school. High school students attended seminars 2-4 days a week (depending on the subject matter) with a teacher and spent the rest of the week in a computer lab under teacher supervision to work through blended course content. The pilot program showed promising results by increasing student attendance and enhancing academic performance. Attendance increased by nearly 100 percent and students who struggled before, showed motivation and vigor to achieve a higher level of academic performance.
“Through its partnership with Thesys, Pasadena Unified is making strides in its longstanding commitment to equip more students for college,” said Jack Loos, CIS and Rose City High School Principal, Pasadena School Unified District. “The results show that blended learning has enhanced the classroom experience for both teachers and students to such a degree that it makes college a viable option for those who previously had little interest in school.”
“Pasadena Unified teachers are learning to effectively maximize digital content and online communication tools to increase engagement with their students,” said Beverly DeCuir, Director of Educational Services, Thesys International, LLC. “With greater access to web based curriculum that specifically fits their students’ needs, teachers can devote more time to teaching and interacting with students.”
Thesys provides English Language Student Learning (EL, ESL & ELD), Blended Curriculum, Online School and professional development programs that combine educational technology with traditional classroom teaching. (See short video overview) By integrating multiple resources/content, systems and technological tools into a complete curriculum, Thesys saves teachers significant amounts of time and enables them to focus more time for engaging with students. Students apply the technology to maximize self-study, practice and teacher interaction. Thesys curriculum is UC approved and meets Common Core standards.