Ancillae-Assumpta Academy, sponsored by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is a private, Catholic, co-educational school for students in Pre-school through grade 8. A strong faith foundation rooted in gospel values and a challenging academic curriculum developed to meet the needs of all learners prepare students to reach their full potential as global citizens. In a community that emphasizes "personal excellence in a warm and friendly atmosphere", students learn through the R.I.C.E. Process to be Responsible, Interdependent, Creative, and Empowered Christians who utilize their God-given talents in service to others.
The community of Ancillae-Assumpta Academy embraces the educational mission of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our ministry is education in service of the Gospel. Whatever educates invites our collaboration. Through the pursuit of "personal excellence in a warm and friendly atmosphere", we commit ourselves to:
- nurture faith development
- approach the world with hope and hospitality
- reverence creation
- celebrate diversity
- side with the poor
- act as leaven for community building
- and share all that we are
To meet these demanding challenges, we dedicate all our resources: a liberating theology, quality teachers, structural know-how, a constantly evolving curriculum, critical teaching and thinking skills. In a spirit of hope, we share Responsibility, work Interdependently, think Creatively, and promote the Empowerment of people.
The R.I.C.E. Process, a visioning instrument for school restructuring, is a systematic process to actualize a vision for education developed by Sr. Elizabeth McCoy. Four major shifts are key to facilitating restructuring: moving from classical models of centralized authority to shared responsibility, transforming a hierarchical worldview to one of global interdependence, viewing knowledge as static to dynamic, and changing a local viewpoint to people empowerment.
The foundational philosophy of the R.I.C.E. Process is derived from gospel values with a profound spirituality unifying our work through prayer, commitment, and action. The R.I.C.E. Process can be understood more deeply through three significant themes: Institutional Conversion, promoting a change in our way of thinking and acting; Moving the Mountain, fueling our passion to actualize a vision for Catholic education; and Leadership Challenge, addressing how authority is shared and monitored. Together these themes shape the values of the R.I.C.E. Process, namely: Shared Responsibility, Human Interdependence, Dynamic Creativity and People Empowerment. The R.I.C.E. Process addresses four components of an institution: direction, leadership, authority, and processes.
Ancillae-Assumpta’s educational philosophy, given the acronym R.I.C.E., promotes an integral understanding and practice of Shared Responsibility, Human Interdependence, Dynamic Creativity, and People Empowerment. It serves as a planning tool to systematically advance the school’s efforts in visioning, networking, curriculum, and staff development, critical areas that contribute to an authentic, cohesive, and congruent learning community. Reflection, life-long learning, ongoing planning, participation, and evaluation are key features of the R.I.C.E. Process.
The administration, faculty, and staff consistently apply the components of the R.I.C.E. Process to facilitate the growth and development of our school community. The integrity of the R.I.C.E. process was recognized by the MSA visiting team and was commended in their written report to the Commission stating that “evident is the commitment of the Ancillae-Assumpta Academy community to a sustained, focused, multi-year restructuring effort to build an educational community that is growing through reflection and intentional actions to understand who they are, where they are going, and why.” The Middle States Commission approved and encouraged our school to continue to apply the R.I.C.E. values to our planning and evaluative structures. Planning and evaluation are done at the institutional, school-wide, curricular, program, staff and personal levels. The process assists us to articulate a vision more clearly, to document processes more accurately through focused goals and strategies, to involve the community more critically through evaluation opportunities, and to plan the future more intentionally through long and short range planning.
The R.I.C.E. Process is dynamic in nature allowing for institutional and personal growth and keeps the school moving on a critical path of change. All areas of the school are touched by the vision and transformed by the process. By looking at the future needs of students facing a global, interdependent reality with intense human and technological advancements, the direction the school takes needs to prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century is found through the R.I.C.E. Process.
The author of the R.I.C.E. Process, Sister Elizabeth McCoy, noted that the name of the process, R.I.C.E., is a familiar and simple food staple, and is easily understood by all people of all ages as nourishing and life-giving. The R.I.C.E. values give relevance and authenticity to the school’s goals, educational programs, activities, and future development.