After much research and consideration, St. Mary School decided to apply for and was accepted into the Drexel School System in the Diocese of San Jose beginning this school year. After looking at the data, evaluating the effectiveness and impact of joining; observing teachers, curriculum and students in current Drexel schools; and assessing the benefits, the decision was made that becoming a Drexel school was in the best interest of St. Mary School.
What does this mean for the school? Through additional Drexel funding combined with the current tuition assistance program, the school is making Catholic education accessible for those who want it. Teachers are receiving increased instructional resources and professional development through Drexel’s partnership with Santa Clara University’s Academy of Blended Learning, among other benefits. Most importantly, students’ individual academic needs are easily matched and better served with differentiated instruction and research-based instructional strategies that use integrated technology, small group sessions, and a variety of academic applications.
The school community is excited about this move, and students’ enthusiasm for these instructional changes is evident in their classrooms. Teachers are already seeing an increase in student engagement, enthusiasm and effort as students benefit from the research-based instructional methodology being used throughout all grade levels. Recent class projects included 3rd grade students making their own animal reports on Adobe Spark Page; the 7th grade science class using TouchCast Studio to make movies about how movement of the sun, moon and Earth cause solar and lunar eclipses, and seasonal changes; and the 8th grade language arts class using TouchCast to discuss the better of two arguments.
In addition to advances in teaching methods, the school also underwent a facelift this summer with funding for building improvements and a technology upgrade, for which the school community is thankful.
“We are excited about the move to the Drexel School System! The expected growth for student instruction and expanded professional development for teachers will be amazing opportunities,” said Principal Pamela Greteman. “Looking to the future, it is the perfect time to build on the long and successful history of our school and take it to the next level. We see a great benefit in this move and look forward to the year ahead.”