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Hope & Purpose - Catholic Schools in the 21st Century

Revisiting the U.S. Bishops' Statement: 
Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium
     Challenged by the present, while peering into the future, for some, might produce uncertainty and skepticism. Yet, in the United States, our Bishops, both past and present, look upon the future of Catholic Schools with a sense of hope and purpose. Over the last 12 years, since the statement was promulgated, many in Catholic education, upon reading the statement, argued that the Bishops did not go far enough and/or that they missed an opportunity to say something new and dynamic. I’m not sure what my colleagues were hoping to hear, but clearly their expectations muted the voices of hope and purpose speaking in the statement. While peering into the third millennium, the Bishops, in their statement, offered multiple expressions of hope and purpose rooted in the current status and success of Catholic schools. And yet, while observing the horizon to w…
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NCEA2017 'TED' Chat: Forget Everything You Learned in School

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Einstein

The need for 21st Century Learning may not be so '21st Century.' --I would say, it has been rediscovered as necessary in order for our children to be successful later in life.

Although, Einstein was a product of the 19th century and offered his insights for the 20th Century, he continues to inspire us for the 21st Century. One only has to read his quotes to get a sense that this great thinker possessed the 'heart' and the 'mind' of what 21st Century Learning aspires to offer today's students.

How about this one...

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~ Albert Einstein

Ouch! As I read his words I find myself secretly agreeing with Albert, even though I've been an educator for over 25 year. I guess, I was kind of like that 'fish' that never really could …

School Effectiveness? My Take on it!

What is my “take” school effectiveness? In my humble opinion, which has taken a number of years to form, I believe, effective schools must adhere to four guiding principles: Effective schools must 1) listen to and engage parents and teachers; 2) communicate the school’s mission/vision; 3) institute and evaluate sound educational practices, and 4) nurture their own unique identity, culture, and local autonomy. Listen and Engage Parents and Teachers             Why is it important to listen to and engage teachers and parents? Effective schools do not exist outside of the domain of the parents and teachers. Therefore, their participation in creating and maintaining an effective school is crucial. Effective schools are for ever evolving into the environment necessary for the best learning to take place. It is my opinion, that only by listening to the parents and the teachers will the school come to understand how it may need to evolve in order to meet current or future needs. Let me illus…

Implementing Mobile Technology without a Single Mandate

“Innovation is the distinction between a leader and a follower.” – Steve JobsHow did the Madeleine achieve overwhelming success implementing mobile technology with its staff and students in such a short period of time? Here's the success story.




The Catalyst of an Innovative Idea
In September of 2010 the Parent Association stated they would donate funds toward an innovative technology program that would benefit the students.

The Innovative Idea
The Principal asked the PA to consider a pilot program where iPads might be incorporated into the Kindergarten program. The idea generated awareness among all the other teachers that wanted to experience the iPad technology first and explore ways in which the technology could be integrated into their classrooms as well.
Educator Incentive Teachers were asked to consider if they wanted to use an iPad and explore its potential for instruction. The principal reached out to the faculty and offered that if they were interested in receiving an iPad they…

What is 21st Century Learning? Let's ask the students.

What is 21st Century Learning?

Students Respond, "That's the wrong question...

The video was commissioned by team at Picaboo Yearbooks. The video was produced and directed by the students of the Madeleine.


What/Who is 21st Century Learning?

What/Who is 21st Century Learning?  - by Ken Willers Did you know, that today’s Kindergarteners will retire around the year 2074?
Astonishing to think, huh? But, it serves as a stark reminder that we, as educators, are called to prepare today’s five-year-olds, as Ian Jukes stated, “for THEIR future and not our past?”

If a school is not living out this call, or even worse, resisting it, that school has no right to exist. 
In 21st Century Learning students who can think critically and communicate effectively are better able to build on their base of core knowledge. Within the context of 21st Century Learning of core knowledge and faith instruction, students also learn the essential skills for success in today’s world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration. When schools build on these skills by combining the necessary support systems—standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development, faith formation and learning environments—st…

How Students and Teachers Designed 21st Century Classrooms

Students help revitalize and reinvigorate classrooms for 2015

Light, height, air. These tiny entities are the agents of change coming to the Madeleine classrooms in Fall 2015 that will transform and improve the way that our students learn.

And the students themselves helped make that happen.

Armed with suggestions and drawings from the students that showcased their dream classroom, a redesign team will revamp portions of each 1st through 8th grade classroom this summer. 

“These improvements will facilitate and encourage more of the great teaching that already takes place at the Madeleine,” said Joseph Nagel, eighth grade teacher. 

“Teachers will more easily be able to move around and teach from different parts of the room, and students will have greater access to whiteboards and storage areas.” 
The redesign of the classrooms has been carefully thought out, he said, to make the flow of teaching and learning effortless. 

On the first day of school, students in the main building found modern t…