• Blended Learning Model at St. Paul School, Seattle

    Catholic school continues local trend to integrate technology with curriculum
    St. Paul School second Seattle-area Catholic school in two years to embrace blended learning

    Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Rev. Stephen C. Rowan, has announced that this fall, St. Paul Catholic School, Seattle, will become the area’s newest blended learning school. Located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, St. Paul’s transformation is made possible through the support of the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Office for Catholic Schools, the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), and the Fulcrum Foundation.

    As part of a broader process of school renewal and transformation, St. Paul will adopt a blended learning academic model, which integrates digital content with small-group and individualized instruction in the same classrooms. This allows for greater customization and personal attention to the learning needs and strengths of each child. Core elements of the model include significant investments in technology – including computers in every classroom and new digital curriculum – as well as extensive professional development for teachers.

    The St. Paul partnership marks a continuation of Notre Dame’s relationship with the Archdiocese of Seattle, where the University is currently leading a strategic planning process for the Office for Catholic Schools.

    With oversight and support from the Office for Catholic Schools, ACE and the Fulcrum Foundation seek to assist in the creation of a vital and innovative school model at St. Paul School. They will work closely with the school community to boost enrollment, improve academic performance and strengthen school culture. According to Fr. Rowan, “All of us in the Office for Catholic Schools are proud of St. Paul School for taking this bold and innovative step, and we are grateful for partnerships with the Fulcrum Foundation and with ACE of the University of Notre Dame that make this initiative possible. It is an exciting time for Catholic schools.”

    St. Paul School is one of the first schools to leverage a premier university’s research and resources to deploy a blending learning model, though ACE hopes to expand the model of support to other cities in the future. The Office for Catholic Schools and Fulcrum Foundation invited ACE to consider Seattle as the inaugural site for the model. The city was selected after investigation showed strong local support for the partnership and affirmed the schools’ capacity to serve area students effectively.

    The blended learning initiative is led at Notre Dame by the Senior Director of ACE Consulting, Steven Perla, a former superintendent of Catholic schools with 20 years of experience in Catholic school education. Directing the project at Notre Dame is TJ D’Agostino, a former Catholic school teacher with years of experience in education renewal, consulting and project management.

    “This partnership will and has already begun to transform our school,” said Betsy Kromer, Principal of St. Paul School. “The infusion of new technology and computers in every classroom is a great blessing. But even more powerful is the unique learning experience it will allow through small group instruction, more individualized attention to students, and a customized academic program that responds to the needs of every child. St. Paul is building a premier educational experience for its students. I could not be more excited!”

    The school is currently accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year, and tuition assistance is available. For more information about St. Paul School visit: http://seattlestpaul.org/

    Betsy Kromer, Principal, St. Paul School –BKromer@seattlestpaul.org
    Rev. Stephen C. Rowan, Superintendent of Catholic Schools – superintendent@seattlearch.org
    Sue Mecham, Interim Executive Director, Fulcrum Foundation – sue.mecham@fulcrumfoundation.org
    TJ D’Agostino, ACE Consulting, University of Notre Dame – adagosti@nd.edu
    Eric Downing, Assistant Director for Marketing, Fulcrum Foundation and Office for Catholic Schools, eric.downing@seattlearch.org

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