CSDE Announces Partnerships with Two Vendors to Deliver Statewide High-Quality Online Curricula and Courses
Provides Students and Teachers Access, at No Cost, to High-Quality Resources to Accelerate Learning and Advance Equity Anytime, Anywhere
(HARTFORD) - The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) today announced, after a thorough procurement process, the Department is entering into two partnerships with Apex Learning and Defined Learning to support its goal of delivering equitable access to high-quality online curricula and courses at no cost to school districts.
“Advancing equity and access requires us to think boldly and create transformative programs that leverage the deliberate and strategic use of technology in concert with in-person learning. Integrating these virtual platforms into classroom learning will allow Connecticut to continue to be a leader in innovation when it comes to how our students learn and access school,” Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker said.
“We are honored to partner with the Connecticut State Department of Education to provide proven digital curricula solutions that support the needs of all students - from struggling to accelerated - with the opportunity to thrive,” Chris Porter, CEO of Apex Learning, said. “We work closely with educators across the nation to create opportunities for students to succeed in school and beyond, and we look forward to working closely with CSDE to support the success of Connecticut students and educators.”
“Research proves project-based learning increases student engagement, rigor, and test scores. We are excited to partner with CSDE as they grow and evolve curriculum offerings to better serve students and teachers in today’s unique learning environments,” Andy Schaefer, President of Defined Learning, said. “With the implementation of Defined Learning, we hope to bridge the equity gap and cultivate essential skills preparing Connecticut students for the future.”
CSDE and Apex Learning have partnered to provide teachers and their students in Grades 6-12 with free access to Apex Learning digital curriculum for credit recovery, enrichment, and personal learning specific to grade-level advancement and high school graduation. Apex Learning provides standards-aligned, interactive, and engaging digital curriculum with embedded accessibility tools to support individual student needs (as identified by the district and teachers) around foundational skills, advanced coursework, and more.
CSDE and Defined Learning have partnered to provide all K-12 students access to Defined Learning’s online curricula for project- and career-based learning. Supplementing local curricula and aligning with Connecticut state standards, Defined Learning elevates the levels of engagement and rigor using customizable problem-solving tasks that strengthen 21st-century skills in specific pathways, giving students a head-start in career readiness. Projects can be assigned to an individual student, groups of students, or an entire classroom through the online portal. In place of a formative assessment, the platform curates individual portfolios to track project completion and skill development while empowering students to have a voice in their demonstration of knowledge.
To ensure student outcomes are maximized, CSDE, Apex Learning, and Defined Learning implementation teams will deliver professional development for teachers around more effectively integrating online learning for credit accumulation, project-based learning and demonstrating mastery.
The partnerships are part of CSDE’s efforts to advance its state-level priorities for use of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding, including the strategic use of technology to engage and expand equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities. Connecticut’s efforts to reimagine its classrooms include linking virtual content and connectivity to in-person learning to give students access to online resources that support academic renewal, learning acceleration, and enrichment anytime, anywhere.
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