21st Century Learning

Holy Cross Academy Catholic Schools will be offering an enhanced educational experience to complement their existing communities. The 21st Century Learning Initiatives offered at each school will build upon the excellent education offered within a strong faith community.

Each school community has chosen their own unique focus area which will give them the ability to offer superior programming to students through new programs and existing programs as well as, opportunities offered by Holy Cross on a system wide level.

Each school selected their Learning Initiative based upon their staff strengths, school dynamics, family interest and the desire for programming in their neighborhood community.

Holy Cross Schools will introduce their initiatives during the 2016-2017 school year with enhanced implementation in 2017-2018.

St. Peter School will utilize the strength of their location within the local Canton arts district from which to draw inspiration for their distinctive characteristic, “Arts and Innovation”. They will combine the arts with science for innovate projects in the classroom as well as school wide, which is consistent with their current strength. Their initiative will encourage cross-curricular inquiry learning opportunities focusing on developing 21st Century skills by expanding the curriculum to place focus on the Arts as a media to explore topics in all subject areas.

St. Michael is adopting “Entrepreneurs and Engineers”.  The school will be using robotics and Lego education to lead learning in engineering at all levels.  The engineering theme will be incorporated into the existing science curriculum.  At the middle school level, students will be involved in an entrepreneurial program by shadowing professionals, particularly those in the STREAM professions. In addition, those professionals will be invited to talk with 7 – 8 grade students about their careers and also to teach students using project based learning. 

St. Joan of Arc will use “Robotics” to feature science and math for a hands-on learning experience. Their first phase is already complete: students built intricate Lego projects in teams last school year. In addition to an existing, robust after-school Lego Club, they will create a Robotics Team for grades 5 – 8 that will compete in Lego competitions. The school will also pursue technology based robotics projects complete with designs and implementation. They will also form mentoring groups with students in 6 -8 grades teaching robotics to younger students.

St. Paul is exploring “Global Learning”.  Within this context, students will explore various cultures and communities across the globe.  Teachers and students will exchange lessons and projects, online, with diverse school communities. Technology will take center stage with Skype opportunities to communicate.  St. Paul is also connecting to Walsh Universities’ Global Initiative. This developing and ground breaking area offers varied opportunities to “go global” in terms of cultures, scientific discoveries, politics, and languages.  Students might visit area communities representing various world cultures as they become global leaders.

St. Mary is exploring “Project Based Learning”. This approach invites students to direct their own learning and encourages them to apply lessons from multiple subjects as they are presented with a project and asked to design a team solution. For example, students could be given a box of building materials and asked to create an environmentally friendly building. Through their project based learning, St. Mary will connect with the Massillon area community for field trips and to connect real world examples to their classroom learning. Some ideas include guest readers, experiential learning, and having students design presentations on their projects. St. Mary will be presenting students with a special speaker series this year and plans to connect students with local business leaders.

St. Barbara School is pursuing becoming a “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” School. A significant number of the staff visited a STEM school in Reynoldsburg, Ohio recently and attended a professional development leaders workshop focused on teaching STEM.  From that experience and administrative support, they plan to adopt the STEM platform by the 2017 – 18 school year.  They have a commitment to pursuing specific teacher education, extensive planning and acquiring related resource materials. The large parish property offers much opportunity for learning within the local environment and nearby science and outdoor entities can be utilized to enhance learning for students. An elementary STEM school is unique to Stark County area and will be one of a few throughout the State of Ohio.

St. Philip and James is interested in pursuing “Environmental Sustainability”. They will build upon significant interest in energy reduction and promoting “going green” at the school.  Three initiatives, light bulb conversion, recycling and solar energy are already being implemented.  They will be involving students by creating a school garden and creating a compost pile using food waste.   Additional efforts to involve students might include community clean ups (service), presenting ‘green” technology to community groups, etc. through their new Environment Club.

St. Louis will be offering a Personalized Learning Experience. During the enrollment process families will meet with the principal and teachers for a friendly interview. The interview is designed to determine every child’s interests, learning modes, talents, and challenge areas. Armed with this information, a personalized learning plan is developed: engaging each student through specific interests, introducing him or her to new ideas: customizing the learning experience.  St. Louis School will be utilizing a blended learning model, combining technology based learning with small group teacher instruction to challenge children, thus helping him/her achieve at maximum levels.  In this way, classrooms are filled with children engaged in learning at their personal levels through traditional, hands-on, and exploratory modes. This initiative empowers families to steer their children’s education in a way never realized before; every child will have their own individual, learning plan constructed with input from the child themselves, their parents/guardians, and multiple educators at the school!  

Regina Coeli students are excited about their Science & Literacy focus. Students will gear up in their lab coats during special science and literacy instructional sessions, intended to allow students to explore important learning theories in a unique method.  Using a literacy and STREAM theme, weekly blocked time will be designed for students to engage in learning within the school’s science lab and media/library center. The STREAM theme will encourage students to learn using essential questions, then explore solutions through project based learning. Ideas range from a visiting a local radio station so students can engage in writing and public speaking, to creating a butterfly garden, to visits to area nature centers with related projects.

 

These value added components will play an important role in the continuation of the Catholic school tradition of excellence in education, discipline, faith based learning and character building and compliment nicely the expanded arts and athletic programs offered by the system approach adopted in Stark County.