Blended Learning in Catholic Schools
in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Immaculate Conception Catholic School of Columbia Heights, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School of Mound, and St. Therese Catholic School of Deephaven are partnering with the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Catholic Schools to become the first blended learning Catholic schools in the Twin Cities.
Blended learning is an emerging innovation in K-12 education in which classrooms integrate online learning and computer aided instruction with traditional teacher led instruction to personalize the learning experience for each child. This involves allowing students to work at their own pace and ability level to more effectively meet their individual needs and enhance mastery-based learning for all students.
Results of this model have shown great promise. In ACE’s first blended learning partner school in Seattle, WA, student growth in math and reading jumped to the equivalent of 1.5 years worth of growth in math and 1.22 years worth of growth in reading in the first year of implementation. This significantly boosted overall school academic performance in its first year.
These are the first Catholic schools in the State of Minnesota to leverage a premier university’s research and resources to deploy a blending learning model. The Archdiocese invited the Alliance for Catholic Education to consider the Twin Cities as their newest site for the model. The schools were selected due to strong local support for the partnership and affirmation of capacity to adopt the model to serve students effectively.
Through this initiative, ACE and the Archdiocese will seek to create vital and innovative school models at all three schools involved: Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Lake, St. Therese. The Alliance for Catholic Education will work closely with these three school communities to foster the transition to blended learning, boost enrollment, improve academic performance and enhance school culture.
The blended learning initiative is led at Notre Dame by TJ D’Agostino, M. Ed., who has developed ACE’s blended learning and school improvement model. “We believe that blended learning, when combined with other best practices for top school performance, can be a powerful recipe for strengthening and renewing Catholic schools. We are thrilled to see the vision and energy of Catholic schools in the Twin Cities, and we are confident that these schools will be models for the future of Catholic education.”
“This partnership will and has already begun to benefit our schools,” said Jill Reilly, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “We are focused on excellence in all of our schools in the Archdiocese, and we know that this innovative approach provides a unique learning experience for our students. We believe these Catholic schools will be pioneers in this area for an educational innovation that others will emulate. I could not be more excited!”
Jane Bona, Principal of Immaculate Conception School, agrees. "The opportunity to collaborate with the University of Notre Dame is significant! Our students will benefit from the increased technology integration with academics, while maintaining our commitment to our Catholic school mission.”
To discuss how your child can enroll and be a part of this program at Immaculate Conception School, please contact Jane Bona.