Two Bay Area charter school organizations that have ventured into “blended learning” will be the first to receive funding from newly created $25 million Silicon Schools Fund.
Summit Public Schools, which runs four charter high schools, will receive $1.4 million to help open two more high schools next year in the Bay Area, and two-year-old Alpha Public Schools will get $300,000 to expand its first school, a middle school charter in San Jose.
Both Summit and Alpha are doing innovative work with blended learning, which integrates technology in the classroom to foster personalized learning. This year, students in Summit’s two high schools in the San Jose area learning math at their own pace through a fluid combination of individualized computer programs, tutoring, small group lessons and larger project-based experiences. Its two new schools next year, in Santa Clara County and in the Jefferson Union High School District in San Mateo County, will incorporate the San Jose model. Currently serving 175 students in grades six and seven, Alpha will grow to 400 students through grade eight in two years.
Seeded with money by John Fisher, whose family started Gap, Inc., the Silicon Schools Fund plans to provide seed money for 25 schools with blended learning within five years.