St. Gertrude the Great Catholic School is committed to providing a competitive, academic curriculum in a family atmosphere whereby each student is accepted, encouraged and supported, making St. John Bosco’s dream for youth a reality. In the Salesian tradition, St. Gertrude the Great offers a competitive high school preparatory curriculum ensuring academic success of our students. As a Christian faith community, the school prepares and equips students to be life-long learners who are dedicated men and women of faith and integrity, committed to leading successful lives of distinguished service and social justice.
Content suite differs by grade level (K-2, 3-5, 6-8) and is based on broad overarching goals and clear instructional goals that are modeled at each level.
The 3 Overarching Goals:
- Personalization – Students should hit their proximal zone of development every time they sit down in front of a screen.
- Motivation – Good work on computers must be recognized; feedback to students should be frequent and meaningful.
- Alignment – How do we take advantage of the fact that resonance between digital instruction and teacher-led instruction can accelerate learning?
An average day looks different depending on grade level. In grades K-5, class periods will be made up of two 25-30 minute rotations with half of the class spending 30 minutes on the computers in the classroom and then switching with the other half of the class that had been in small-group instruction with the teacher. Depending on aide availability, the class may be broken down into three or four groups. These classes will have a 2:1 student to device ratio. Middle school reading and math classes will have a 1:1 ratio in order to fully harness the possibilities the model and content provides for these subjects (small group pullouts in math or independent conferencing on writing/grammar). Middle school science and social studies classrooms will have a 2:1 ratio and depending on the subject and teachers discretion there are a variety of ways to structure these classes. Students may engage in “full-day” rotations where one group “front loads” by completing a digital lesson or is introduced to content while the teacher is doing an introductory lab or lesson with another group. In these situations, the groups will switch the next day leaving the previous in-class group to work on an enrichment activity on the computer (or a lab report) while the previous computer group will work on the same in-class lesson but with some prior knowledge. Seton has professional development materials relating to these structures and trains teachers on when they should be used.
To assess effectiveness, students will take the on-line NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (or MAP) three times a year as a baseline assessment in reading and math. Teachers use this data to inform their rotational groups. It will also be intensely studied by the entire staff during three “data days” throughout the year where instructional strategies will be assessed and support structures for individual students will be put in place. These scores are also plugged into select digital content providers to create individual learning paths for the students.