AUSTIN, TX, March 4, 2021 — OnRamps and Crowley ISD today announced a new partnership to expand excellence in education that will help its middle- and high-school teachers advance their distance learning expertise and improve academic and social and emotional learning outcomes as districts across the state continue to seek ways to support students.
Crowley ISD teachers of grades five and up will have free and unlimited access to 20 customized professional development modules, by way of the OnRamps Distance Learning Catalog. Designed by OnRamps, a signature initiative of The University of Texas at Austin, and made possible through a grant from the Sid Richardson Foundation, this partnership enables Crowley ISD to address critical classroom needs through self-paced professional development modules on distance education. It also is designed to ensure that all students are closer to achieving learner outcomes that put them on the path for college and career success.
DISTANCE LEARNING TO SCALE
Crowley ISD’s customized Distance Learning Catalog reflects the evolving needs of teachers and students in online learning environments. Applicable to all instructional modalities, each module contains interactive activities and downloadable documents that support direct application to classroom contexts. Additionally, teachers receive CPE credit and additional incentives for completed modules. The modules are divided into “bundles,” which sequentially build skills and knowledge in four key areas:
- Belonging, Equity, and Connectivity;
- Authentic Assessment in Online Learning;
- Learner-Centered Course Creation and Design; and
- Transforming Learning with Technology Tools.
“The Catalog draws from our nearly ten years of experience in distance education and evidence-based professional learning and development, and this expansion of our years-long partnership with Crowley ISD allows us to share this expertise with teachers and students at a time when it is needed most,” says Dr. Jennifer Porter, managing director of OnRamps. “We look forward to supporting these educators as they continue their invaluable work to advance student success.”
PARTNERING SINCE 2016
OnRamps and Crowley ISD’s partnership first began in 2016, when the district brought four OnRamps dual enrollment courses to two high school campuses. Dr. Michael McFarland, superintendent of schools at Crowley ISD since 2017, noted the value that OnRamps brought to his district, and saw the opportunity to bolster the already significant academic gains being made for the community. Now, Crowley ISD offers eight OnRamps courses to over 300 unique students across three campuses, and the addition of the customized Catalog will support its teachers in growing their distance learning expertise and reaching countless more students.
"Our work with OnRamps these past five years has proven the impact that thoughtful and robust professional learning can have on a classroom,” says Dr. McFarland. “By expanding our partnership to include this customized Catalog, every teacher in our district will have the skills they need to foster meaningful experiences and a quality education in the virtual classroom.”
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OnRamps is one of The University of Texas at Austin’s signature initiatives designed to expand access to high-quality educational opportunities across Texas that can be scaled across the nation. For nearly ten years, OnRamps has been serving secondary and higher education communities in Texas through dual enrollment distance education courses and professional learning and development to high school teachers. Serving more than 34,000 students and over 1,200 teachers in partnership with districts and higher education institutions across the state, OnRamps is helping to reduce barriers to college readiness and increase the number and diversity of students who are on the path to postsecondary success. Learn more at onramps.utexas.edu.
ABOUT CROWLEY ISD
Crowley ISD serves approximately 16,000 students across 25 campuses with excellence in education so that all students achieve their full potential. The district is committed to equipping its students with the social, emotional, and academic skills to thrive as citizens in a diverse, evolving, global society, and to ensuring its teachers are supported to deliver quality, aligned curriculum for college and career success. Learn more at www.crowleyisdtx.org.