What is the Academy model?
The Academy is a platform that will provide programmatic benefits eventually to all of our schools and has three purposes:
- To develop an instructional model that meets the demands of the 21stcentury higher education and workplace environments
- To develop partnerships with higher education and corporations to provide “real-life” opportunities for our students
- To ensure our schools have the resources to effectively meet the needs of students who learn differently
What are some of the colleges and universities that are partners of the Academy and what do they offer?
- The University of Notre Dame Center for STEM Education will assist us on developing a strategic vision.
- Boston College’s Leadership Group will work with us on the development of the new personalized learning model.
- Stonehill College and Regis College will offer students dual-enrollment opportunities as well as summer classes for college credit.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute will assist with professional development in STEM-related areas.
- Bridgewater State University offers numerous programs for students of all ages.
Why is there such an emphasis on STEM education? What about fine arts or social sciences?
It is very important to point out that the focus on STEM does not mean that a student who has interest in the fine arts or social sciences will not have the same opportunities. Even while adding advanced programs in STEM, we will still provide a strong program in other areas as well.
The reason for the focus on STEM is related to the “real-world” need for students to have critical thinking skills, to be able to work collaboratively, and to do more project-based work. The fields of science, technology, engineering and math are growing at a much faster rate than other areas, and studies tell us that there will be a substantial workforce shortage of applicants with these skills.
So arts and humanities will continue to be a part of the curriculum at both schools?
Many students have a passion for the arts and want to turn this passion into a career. ALL schools will continue to be very active with offering opportunities in music, theater, or art, so that these students can continue to develop their God-given gifts.
The critical thinking skills imparted to students in all disciplines will benefit them as they enter college and develop a career thereafter.
Will any of the instructional practice change?
YES! And this is a very exciting part of what The Academy has to offer! The traditional model of teaching is to lecture while the students take notes, memorize facts, and then be tested on these concepts. While we will still have a framework, students will now be able to apply what they learn to a “real-world” problem. They will be able to take theories and facts and apply it to a problem while collaborating with other students to resolve the problem.
Second, with technology, we are now able to personalize kids’ learning to adapt to how and what each student needs to learn. In a pilot program, we were actually able to quickly identify that a specific second-grader could not count by 2’s and therefore, provide extra assistance with this skill immediately. The beauty of this methodology is that teachers will know very quickly how each student is progressing with new concepts and can offer extra assistance before the problem goes on too long.
So Chris Myron is the president and Kathy St. Laurent is the principal?
Yes, and this is a very important distinction. The strategic partnership between Coyle & Cassidy and Bishop Connolly leverages resources between the two schools while maintaining each school’s identity and traditions. The Academy is separate from the strategic partnership, although both of these schools will be the first to benefit from The Academy’s programs.
Who will lead The Academy?
The Superintendent will oversee all activities related to The Academy.