EDGE: Engage. Discern. Grow. Excel.


“Come to the edge," he said.

"We can't, we're afraid!" they responded.

"Come to the edge," he said.

"We can't, we will fall!" they responded.

"Come to the edge," he said.

And so they came.

And he pushed them.

And they flew.

- Guillaume Apollinaire - 


2018-2019 EDGE Application

The 2018-2019 EDGE Application is no longer available. Please contact Mazzuchelli Catholic Principal Phillip Bormann at pbormann@holyfamilydbq.org or Wahlert Catholic Principal Ron Meyers at rmeyers@holyfamilydbq.org to inquire about EDGE application status.


Submitting the EDGE application does not guarantee acceptance into the EDGE program. Willing students who reflect the overall academic and behavioral makeup of Holy Family Catholic Schools will be drawn until program seats are filled. Applications are available to incoming sixth- and seventh-grade students at Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School and ninth-grade students at Wahlert Catholic High School.

Current sixth-graders participants in the EDGE program will be automatically re-enrolled for the 2018-2019 academic year. No application is necessary.


Presentation slides from the Jan. 8 EDGE Parent Information Session are available here.



Introducing EDGE

Holy Family is excited to announce the launch of EDGE, a new personalized learning program. EDGE utilizes an online learning management platform, provided through Summit Learning, which supports a personalized, project-based model of engaging students, encouraging collaboration and creativity, and promoting authentic work and meaningful student assessments. The platform helps students set and track goals, learn content at their own pace and complete learning projects that foster a deeper understanding of lesson objectives. 



Partnering with Summit Learning

At Holy Family, we believe that personalized, project-based learning is the future of education and in keeping with our tradition of leadership in innovation, we are excited to be the first school system in Iowa to make this platform available to our students by partnering with Summit Learning on their visionary approach to education. Learn more about Summit Learning at summitlearning.org.


Take a moment to learn more about the Summit Learning Platform in this brief video



What is Personalized Learning?

Through the EDGE personalized education program, every student has a pathway that is customized for them and connected to their long-term goals and aspirations. With the support of EDGE teachers and personal mentors, students are guided through a framework for individual success. The program focuses on key elements of career and college readiness and empowers students toward their goals, to drive their learning and own their successes. Teaching methods and time spent on concepts become individualized so that students each achieve subject mastery at their own pace and in a learning style best geared for them, personally.  


Benefits of personalized learning

The EDGE advantage is that every individual, upon reaching adulthood, will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and habits to realize their God-given potential, through engagement, discernment, growth, and excellence in all they do. 


EDGE encourages students to take ownership of their work; they work at their own pace on much of the content. As the program progresses, educators learn about each individual student’s academic strengths and challenges. Program studies have shown that many students who have historically struggled are able to access the curriculum in new ways, while students who excel are finding opportunities to accelerate their progress even further. 

The Unique Elements of EDGE 

  • Flexible, anytime/everywhere learning
  • Redefined and expanded teacher role
  • Project-based, authentic learning
  • Student-driven learning paths
  • Mastery/competency-based progression/pace
  • Community partnerships


The EDGE Learning Experience

EDGE students become aware of what they are learning, why they are learning it and how they learn best. They become self-directed learners and develop behaviors and mindsets necessary for success.


The Teacher's Role

Teachers have the tools they need to customize instruction to meet student's unique needs and interests, as well as the time and support to build strong relationships with students.


The Student's Role

Students are empowered to become self-directed learners — with the support of teachers and personal mentors, they set goals for their learning, reflect on their progress and build habits and mindsets to help them succeed in college, career and life.




Project-based learning:

Students engage with projects that connect the classroom to the real world. When students work in teams to apply what they're learning to projects that mimic and solve real-world problems, they develop strong collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills. Utilizing a comprehensive cognitive skills rubric to measure 36 interdisciplinary, higher-order thinking skills that are necessary for college and career readiness, teachers can facilitate authentic, deeper learning projects and provide coaching and feedback on cognitive skills.


Cognitive skills apply across multiple subject matters. They are categorized within the following domains: 

  • Textual Analysis
  • Using Sources Inquiry
  • Analysis and Synthesis
  • Composing/Writing
  • Speaking/Listening
  • Products and Presentations


Through EDGE, students practice and develop cognitive skills in every subject and at every grade level. For each cognitive skill, students must score a six on a 0-8 point scale to demonstrate college and career readiness. Students progress along a continuum demonstrating competency in a skill as appropriate for their level of development and growth. EDGE prioritizes the development of cognitive skills; a student’s score on the Cognitive Skills Rubric contributes more to a student’s grade than does any other outcome measure.




Students work through playlists of Common Core and NGSS-aligned content at their own pace and take assessments on demand. Teachers target instruction individually and in small groups based on real-time student assessment data.




Students reflect on their experiences with personal mentors on a weekly basis and develop habits of success, including learning strategies, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. Weekly check-ins provide ongoing feedback so that mentors may serve as a coach and advocate for their students.


What is a mentor and why is it important?

Every EDGE student has a mentor, a teacher at the school who supports them as they set short- and long-term goals and then plan for and make progress toward reaching those goals. Mentors help students achieve their college and career ambitions and master content, cognitive skills and the habits of success they need to do so. Mentors also serve as coaches, family liaisons, learning advocates and college counselors. 


Scheduled weekly mentor time is a student-led check-in. Mentors help students reflect on their successes and challenges, develop goals and plans for the upcoming week and connect their short-term actions to their long-term aspirations. Like any other teacher an EDGE student interacts with, mentors are also available to students in after-school “office hours.”




Fostering a sense of purpose means students engage in relevant and meaningful enrichment experiences to more fully realize what they are called to do in college, career and life. No matter what students want to accomplish in their lives, they need a plan to make that dream a reality. Students set and track short-term academic goals and long-term college and career goals. Teachers develop strong relationships with students to understand their aspirations, help them set their goals and reflect on their progress through weekly mentoring check-ins.


Faith in Action is a unique experience provided by EDGE that is built into the regular school day. Students will prepare for these experiences throughout the year but will focus in on them during Religion time.  Each experience will be one week long and take up half of each day. During this time we will take a break from core courses and connect students with local experts in an effort to develop social and spiritual awareness, while also putting student knowledge and skills to the test. 





More Questions?

Does this program meet state education requirements?

Though approaching concepts in a fundamentally new way, EDGE utilizes Holy Family's current curriculum which meets Iowa's educational standards.  The Summit Learning Platform enables Holy Family the flexibility to constantly adjusts and expand to meet the needs of our students and state requirements.


The Summit Cognitive Skills Rubric—developed in partnership with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning & Equity(SCALE)—is aligned to the Common Core State Standards (Though approaching concepts in a fundamentally new way, EDGE utilizes Holy Family's current curriculum which meets Iowa's educational standards.  The Summit Learning Platform enables Holy Family the flexibility to constantly adjusts and expand to meet the needs of our students and state requirements.The Summit Cognitive Skills Rubric—developed in partnership with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning & Equity (SCALE)—is aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), utilized by Holy Family Catholic Schools, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and C3 Social Studies Framework. 


Following the pilot year, how will the program roll out?

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, EDGE will offer expanded opportunities for enrollment of interested sixth-grade students, while the original group will have the option to continue in the program. A new group of ninth-grade students will also begin the program at the high school level.


Read our blog post on innovative education, featuring EDGE.



Holy Family Catholic Schools

2005 Kane St., Dubuque IA 52001
(563) 582-5456