Innovative California Charter School Combines Online and Classroom Instruction, Some Students Realize Grade Level Gains of More Than Two Years in Just Months
Method Schools Leveraging Fuel Education Solutions to Accelerate Achievement
HERNDON, Va., May 11, 2015—Offering an innovative blended model of learning—combining online curriculum, project-based learning, face-to-face instruction, and flexible scheduling—Method Schools, a public charter school system in Southern California, began operations this school year. Just a few months after opening, some students were realizing gains of up to two and three grade levels, and word has been spreading of their success: Method Schools is rapidly gaining interest in one of the most competitive charter school markets in the country.
Method Schools serves 110 students in pre-K through grade 12 at two locations, in Murrieta and San Diego, with another school opening in Los Angeles in the fall. Method Schools partners with Fuel Education™ (FuelEd™), which provides personalized learning solutions designed to enable schools and districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. More than 100 FuelEd online courses are approved by the University of California “a-g” review board, more than any other online and blended provider.
Method students move between learning with FuelEd online content at home, at their own pace, to face-to-face instruction with teachers on site. The FuelEd curriculum is tailored to each student’s unique needs, and allows for integration of teacher-created content and other resources through its PEAK™ Personalized Learning Platform.
On-site classes at Method Schools are small, and learning is project-based. Communication is key—among students, parents, teachers and administrators. Each student receives a personalized plan and chooses the number of days to attend class each week—one, three, or four—with the majority choosing four. The goal for every Method Schools student is to achieve 1.5 years of growth in math and reading each year.
“Our approach is to seamlessly blend project-based learning with high-quality online curriculum, and FuelEd allows us to do that,” said Mark Holley, co-founder of Method Schools. “Our students have the flexibility of an independent study school, along with a very comprehensive and engaging classroom experience. It’s like two schools in one.”
Method Schools tracks student outcomes closely, with pre-tests, monthly benchmark assessments, and post-tests. Holley said on average, students jumped more than a grade level in the first five months of the school year, but some have seen even greater gains. One example is a ninth grader who began the school year as a struggling reader, testing at the sixth grade level. By February, this student was reading at grade level—a three-grade jump in five months. Another student, a fourth grader, was reading two grades ahead when she started at Method, and by January she had jumped two grades higher, to the eighth grade reading level.
Students are finding similar gains in math, with a third grader improving by two grade levels in a few months’ time, and a sixth grader who started a year behind and, a few months later, gained two grade levels and is now a year ahead.
“This is what true learning looks like,” said Holley. “Our students’ performance is off the charts—no one is lost in the crowd.”
As Method Schools grows, the focus will be on expanding the secondary grades. Method Schools co-founder Jessica Venezia explained, “FuelEd has been an incredibly strong program for our high school students. The different modalities in the content keep our students highly engaged.”
Gregg Levin, FuelEd general manager, said, “This is an exciting time in education, when we’re seeing real change in student outcomes when we partner with schools employing innovative learning strategies and environments. We’re proud to partner with Method Schools and to be a part of their success in providing the best possible education for their students.”
With more than 1,400 charter schools in California, Method Schools leads the pack as the fastest growing charter school in Riverside County. Enrollment is open and tuition-free to students in Los Angeles County, as well as Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Kern, and Imperial counties.
About Fuel Education
Fuel Education partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for preK-12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers the industry’s largest catalog of digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit getfueled.com and Twitter.
©2015 Fuel Education LLC. All rights reserved. Fuel Education, FuelEd, and PEAK are trademarks of Fuel Education LLC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.