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Blended Learning Initiative (BLI)


COVID-19 caused many schools in Colorado to completely shift their instructional models from traditional in-person to remote learning instruction and other types of hybrid models. This shift has upended what schools thought of as “normal” instruction for a large number of students. Rather than going back to business as usual, it is an important moment to step back and reassess what we know, or thought we knew, about “what works” in terms of instruction, seat time/funding requirements and—fundamentally—achieving strong student outcomes. Such a reassessment requires courage, creativity, and intention to look hard at what we’ve learned, how students have been impacted, how education has evolved, and where we go from here. We believe this is an important collective conversation across schools, districts, and the state. As such, CDE started this collective conversation through what we are calling the Blended Learning Initiative (BLI).

Through the BLI, we would like to understand more about blended and online learning models that are currently being used by brick-and-mortar districts and charter schools. The Initiative is particularly targeted toward districts and schools that are implementing learning models that fall outside of our updated guidance related to Blended Learning and Supplemental Online courses. Those schools and districts are eligible for a two-year formal variance waiver to the guidance. In addition, the Blended Learning Initiative will also welcome representatives and stakeholders from the online school and program community in order to facilitate a robust policy and best practices conversation.

Convening 1: November 30, 2021

Convening 2: January 28, 2022

Convening 3: February 25, 2022

Convening 4: March 24, 2022

Convening 5: April 22, 2022

Convening 6: May 16, 2022

Blended Learning and Supplemental Online Course Variance Waiver

For the second year in a row, the Colorado Department of Education will be providing districts and schools the opportunity to request a variance waiver to the posted guidance regarding Blended Learning Courses and Supplemental Online Courses as outlined in the 2021 Student October Count Audit Resource Guide. These sections of the Guide will remain the same for the 2022-2023 school year, with the 2022 Student October Count Audit Resource Guide being posted on or before July 1, 2022.

Districts and schools should reference the Blended Learning and Supplemental Online Course Variance Waiver Process and training resources below regarding the formal variance waiver process:

For additional information, please visit the following links:

BLI Contact

Mallorie Klemm, Blended Learning Education Sr. Consultant