Ancillae-Assumpta Academy has been named an Apple Distinguished Program for 2016-2018 for its integration of technology across the curriculum and for its broad application in daily school life. The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for schools that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence, and provide a clear and consistent vision of exemplary learning environments.
The selection of Ancillae-Assumpta Academy as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights the Academy’s success at creating an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. The Academy demonstrated that success for Apple in five best practices, examples of which are excerpted for you here:
1) Visionary Leadership: Ancillae-Assumpta Academy utilizes a strategic planning tool, the R.I.C.E. process (Shared Responsibility, Human Interdependence, Dynamic Creativity and People Empowerment) to articulate its shared vision for the advancement of the school. Through this shared leadership model, the administrative team at the Academy ensures that our students develop the skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking and are actively engaged in the learning process. The team developed several multi-year plans for technology integration, specifically.
2) Innovative Learning and Teaching: One result of the technology integration plan is Ancillae’s 1:1 World Program, which is designed to promote access, engagement, individualization and authenticity in the learning process. Students learn with MacBook Air and iPad devices to create, publish, connect, communicate and problem-solve. Ancillae students have the added benefit of working in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Laboratory. For example, students in grades 1-4 work with both off-line and on-line coding and by eighth grade, students are writing Java script.
3) Ongoing Professional Learning: Each year, the faculty and staff create professional goals based upon the R.I.C.E. philosophy. Professional development is delivered in many ways, and via both on- and off-campus opportunities. Ancillae faculty take part in a Professional Learning Group (PLG) that takes on a yearly theme. Teachers have researched learning styles and created online resources as well as Multi-Touch books, using iBooks Author as evidence of their learning and as a resource for their peers.
4) Compelling Evidence of Success: In order to evaluate the impact of Ancillae’s commitment to STEM education and technology integration, the Academy analyzed the standardized test results for the Class of 2016, or the first Class that began the program in 2010. The results of their standardized scores overwhelmingly support the investment in the program. Student performance increased 23 points from third to seventh grade (which is the last grade that Ancillae students participate in standardized testing) in Math, 18 points in Science, 20 points in Reading and 23 points in Language. Student survey results further compound the testing data, with results overwhelmingly indicating the 1:1 program improving the students’ organization, experience working on project-based assignments and overall experience at school.
5) Flexible Learning Environment: The Academy has reimagined learning spaces to increase student engagement and success. The campus currently maintains more than 500 iOS and OS X devices. These Apple devices are used in a variety of ways, including the 1:1 World Program, specialized laboratories, including in Fine Arts, and area-designated carts that offer flexibility for non-traditional classroom environments.
These are just a few examples of how Ancillae has integrated individualized learning across our curriculum. We welcome you to view our full iBook and to watch for more information on our website. A news story announcing our award appears in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.