Parish Episcopal, a Dallas, Texas school that’s been involved with Powerful Learning Practice for several years now, has joined the ranks of schools offering blended and online learning.

According to Dolores Gende, a member of the Blended Learning Strategic Planning Committee, Head of School Dave Monaco wanted to do something innovative. Monaco formed a school committee to work with the North Carolina Virtual Public School as he had contacts in North Carolina where he worked previously.

“We recognized that the educational landscape is shifting quickly.  Opportunities for students to have more customized learning experiences through open source and other virtual resources are increasing rapidly.  Parish seeks to be recognized as an innovator among independent schools.  We believe that by incorporating some of these new opportunities into the foundational strengths of our traditional program, we will offer parents the best of both worlds,” he said.

Initially, ParishVirtual will offer a combination of blended and online, according to Monaco. The Government and Economics courses will be more blended, with Dave Ostroff and Wes Schmidt offering some face-to-face work with students on campus to complement the online resource.  The World Religion class, on the other hand, will have more of an online feel to it.

“Our hope is that the ParishVirtual summer academy exposes our community to the potential for this type of learning experience and serves as a springboard to its infusion into our core program within the next several years.”

Ostroff, a teacher from Parish and a member of the Dublin Dallas Powerful Learning Practice community, will oversee the program with Schmidt, a math teacher.

“Our PLP teachers are at the forefront of our efforts to transform teaching and learning at Parish.  What I admire about PLP, and have since my first exposure to it at Ravenscroft four years ago, is that it empowers teachers to lead and train their peers.  I expect our PLP team will continue to play a significant role, not only in faculty professional development at Parish, but also in our efforts with ParishVirtual” said Monaco.



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Susan Carter Morgan

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