Just Say No to Blended Classes at BRMS
At Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville, VA, a Blended Class Program was implemented across an entire 8th grade for the 2011-2012 school year without student and parental knowledge or consent. Students made their course selections the previous spring but didn't find out that honors and academic students were scheduled in the same class (blended) until they showed up for class in the fall. Parents were never notified and only found out after their students mentioned it.

It started out as a pilot program where academic students were scheduled in honors classes and given the chance to complete the honors work. The pilot remained in place for several years with a team of about 150 students and after claims of success by the school, was implemented in 2011-2012 for the entire 8th grade.

The stated purpose of the program was to provide rigor and equity to all 8th grade students. The success of the program has been measured by how many academic students formally switched the Academic designation on their schedule to an Honors designation after trying the more challenging work. The academic student had to complete all of the honors coursework to make the switch. As of the writing of this petition, only 8 students have formally changed to the Honors designation on their transcript for the 2011-2012 school year.

The data behind the claims of success is largely anecdotal from teachers and administrators or just numerically unbelievable given the manner in which it was collected and the size of the student population it's said to represent. The program also detracts from the ability of the teacher to help the students who need extra support. With three subjects being blended, English, History, and Science, that doesn't give the student or teachers alot of time during class or resource blocks for remediation. If the remediation is being done during class, that takes away instruction time from the rest of the students who don't need help but are ready to move on.

We, the under-signers of this petition, want the Blended Class Program removed from Blue Ridge Middle School until the administrators and/or teachers provide data that supports their claims of success in both the pilot programs of previous years and the current-year implementation; prove that there are measurable benefits to the honors student; thoroughly research the blended class methodology; and are willing to look at other methods of providing “rigor and equity” to all students that do not require the honor student to have a role.
This update was added to the petition statement on May 10th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

This petition is open to parents of rising Blue Ridge Middle School students as well as parents of elemenatary grade students who will eventually attend Blue Ridge.

This update was added to the petition statement on May 11th, 2012 at 4:04 am

This petition is also open to Loudoun County taxpayers as they have a stake in what goes on at the schools whether they have children who attend Blue Ridge or not; and it's open to all Loudoun County Public School students who have been, currently are, or will be affected by the Blended Class program in the future since they have the largest stake in this issue.

This update was added to the petition statement on May 30th, 2012 at 11:46 am

Blue Ridge Middle School has decided NOT to blend the 8th grade science and history classes next year. English will still be blended. Click on this link to view their announcement and ratinale for doing so.

http://www.lcps.org/cms/lib4/VA01000195/Centricity/Domain/280/Final_%20What_We_Believe.pdf

This petition will remain open for anyone who wishes to continue the effort to remove the blended class programs completely from Blue Ridge Middle School and other middle schools in Loudoun County until more study and data can be obtained as to the validity of its claims of success or a suitable alternative can be provided for those parents who do not want their children blended, whether they be Academic or Honors.

Your voice matters, your signature matters.

Most Recent Signatures
NameComments
171Brett Cameron
170Suzanne Cameron
169Vaidehi Tadepalli
By Middle school the Honors children have already shown their capacity for a rigorous academic course and shouldn't be asked to slow down for others. An honors class should be kept challenging. I agree with LoriS about Academic students who show potential
168laurie edberg
not fair to our kids
167Monica Neumann
166Lauren Holesapple
mainstream educ. is blended, honors students should be taught with the idea that they are expected to learn a greater depth/breadth of info. and be held accountable. It is not sufficient to add a worksheet and call it Honors.
I'm a 11 year veteran teacher
165Teresa Bailey
164Lauren Lynham
Mixed ability grouping neglects the needs of higher functioning students - Report by Robert Pondiscio "The Core of Knowledge"
163Amber Davison-Harmony Middle School Parent
Most teachers will be teaching towards the middle - well below honors level. Read "Tracking & Detracking" by Fordham Institute which outlines why "Differentiation/Intra-Room Tracking/Blended Classes" are not good for ANY students.
162Jim Watts
161Pamela Watts
160Curt Newport
159Michael Brill
What is the purpose of acknowledging a child as a "honors" student if you are going to leave the "academic" and "honors" kids together. Ten more vocab words a week does not equate to a "honors" level class. Who do you think you are fooling?
158clarissa sanchez
157Allen Sayles
156Myong Galletta
155Michael and Mary Ann Evans
I quite agree. My son just finished 8th grade and we saw the difference in his grades this year, though I'm sure not all related but he did not do as well this year. Blended being the cause - I think in part.....
154Nancy Deely
153Eric major
152Richard Portal
151Heather Elias
Still shocked that this program was put into place without any prior input from parents. The current school year was not challenging at all for my two honors students.
150Dennis Sellards
149Lori Stertz
Why not blend the academics class instead - ie, allow part of those students to work in Honors curriculum? That way the Honors class can stay true to its course load, and students in academics can "try out" Honors and change over if appropriate.
148Shayne Sandner
147Kirsten Shuford

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Petition Details
Created By: marbles mom
Created On: May 10th, 2012
Target: Concerned Blue Ridge Middle School Parents
Category: Education

Total signatures: 171
Signature goal: 300

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