Notre Dame ACE Academies is a network of diocesan Catholic schools that partner with the University of Notre Dame to help their students reach college and heaven. Because many students at the schools have significant learning gaps, many teachers struggle to meet the wide variety of needs in their classrooms. Notre Dame ACE Academies decided to implement blended learning in a number of schools (three and growing!) as it has proven to be an effective means by which to address skill gaps and accelerate student learning, as well as a more student-centered model.
The team is led by Dr. Nate Wills, CSC, who focuses on the concepts that serve as the foundation for all of the actions taking place inside the schools. Elizabeth Anthony leads the implementation in the schools by working directly with teams of school leaders and teachers leading the implementations at their own schools. Each school has a Blended Learning Advancement & Strategy Team comprised of the school leader(s) and two to four teachers that lead the blended-learning program in their own schools.
In addition to outstanding student academic growth, we have also found that teachers are far more enthusiastic about the art of teaching and report a multitude of nonacademic benefits for their students including increased independence, increased engagement, and a stronger sense of self-efficacy. All students can feel a great sense of accomplishment in our classrooms because they are working on material that is appropriately challenging rather overwhelmingly difficult or too easy.
The leadership/expansion model has also proven to be a fantastic way to engage and empower teacher-leaders as well as to provide them with additional opportunities to improve their own practice through collaboration with their colleagues. Early results indicate that this expansion model will also be far more sustainable and positively influential for students and teachers.
Our school team, three-year, cohort-based implementation plan engaged and empowers teacher-leaders, increases teachers' opportunities to collaborate with other outstanding teachers from their own school and other schools, and seeks to ensure that high-quality blended-learning models are implemented at scale in an appropriate timeframe.
Focus Areas: Leadership strategies for implementation, Redefining Roles
Blended Learning Coordinator
307 Carole Sandner Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana
Notre Dame ACE Academies's Website