In 2013, we invested $500,000 to support the expansion and turnaround of DePaul Catholic School in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. DePaul is one of 14 Catholic elementary schools that recently joined the Independence Mission Schools, an independent nonprofit organization working to help schools achieve financial stability while improving academic achievement. As part of the expansion and transformation strategy, DePaul is partnering with Seton Education Partners to implement a new blended-learning model.
DePaul is using an innovative blended learning model that incorporates technology to create an instructional environment rich in individualized learning for students. DePaul is leveraging the blended learning model to increase academic achievement and nearly double enrollment to 540 students—without a proportional increase in operating costs.Classes are divided into two periods, with half of the students working on self-guided instruction on computers and half the class in small group instruction with the teacher. Teachers use the data gained through students’ individual work to identify areas of need and inform group instruction.
DePaul Catholic School is focused on serving the Germantown neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. At the time of the grant, the school’s student population was 98 percent Black and Hispanic and 77 percent economically disadvantaged. As a private Catholic school, students pay a modest tuition and scholarships are available.
Like most of Philadelphia’s Mission Schools, DePaul offers families a quality education in a neighborhood of Philadelphia with too few great options. DePaul will be the first school in the region to implement Seton’s blended learning model, which has resulted in both increased student achievement and greater enrollment at the pilot schools. The leadership team at DePaul is committed to building a high-quality education program, and the school will serve as a model for other Mission Schools as they work to ensure sustainability while improving educational outcomes for students.
Learn more at http://depaulphila.independencemissionschools.org/