Personalized Learning at Holy Family

Through personalized learning, Holy Family empowers students to take ownership of their learning to ensure engagement, growth and preparedness for the future.

Personalized Learning at Holy Family

Through personalized learning, Holy Family empowers students to take ownership of their learning to ensure engagement, growth and preparedness for the future.

Personalized Learning at Holy Family

Through personalized learning, Holy Family empowers students to take ownership of their learning to ensure engagement, growth and preparedness for the future.

As personalized learning emerges as a leading research-based educational model – and as part of our commitment to ensuring that every student in our school system leaves with the knowledge and skills to be college-, career- and citizenship-ready – Holy Family Catholic Schools has embraced this educational concept.

 

In personalized learning, students practice and develop Cognitive Skills in every subject and in every grade level through real-world, hands-on projects; they achieve content mastery through small and large-group instruction, peer collaboration, and self-directed learning; and through individualized mentoring, they build the key Habits of Success that are proven to support academic achievement and well-being, while learning to set and achieve SMART goals.

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What is Personalized Learning?

Through personalized learning, every student has a pathway that is customized for them and connected to their long-term goals and aspirations. With the support of teachers and personal mentors, students are guided through a framework for individual success. This approach 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.

 

The Benefits:

Personalized learning provides 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.

 

The approach encourages students to take ownership of their work; they work at their own pace on much of the content. As students progress, educators learn about each individual’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 Personalized Learning

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

 

Through our personalized learning, 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. As one Wahlert Catholic High School teacher puts it, "I have been teaching  for 30 plus years and I have never known students this well!"

 

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.

 

Four Pillars for Success

COGNITIVE SKILLS

Through relevant and meaningful projects, students develop critical thinking skills – or Cognitive Skills – that will stay with them for life (long after they've forgotten content knowledge). Throughout their entire academic career at Holy Family, students are practicing and progressing across the same cognitive skills that transcend all subjects.

Utilizing a comprehensive cognitive skills rubric – developed in partnership with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) – to measure 36 interdisciplinary, higher-order thinking skills, teachers facilitate authentic, deeper learning projects and provide coaching and feedback to support students' cognitive skill growth.

 

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

 

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.

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE

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.

 

HABITS OF SUCCESS

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.

 

SENSE OF PURPOSE & FAITH IN ACTION

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.

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.

  • Read this blog post highlighting a Faith in Action retreat organized for students at Wahlert Catholic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about Personalized Learning?

Submit your question here and we'll be in touch! If we feel your question is one others might also have, we'll post it here on the website.

Personalized Learning FAQs

Here's what others are saying...

"Now, when I don't get the top score right away, I don't feel defeated. I just try harder."

"Before I came into the program, I had never failed before. I always got the top grade in everything. I almost couldn't believe it when I didn't get the top grade. I got nervous and wondered if this program was for me. Then, after trying several times, I realized that this would take more effort. Now, when I don't get the top score right away, I don't feel defeated. I just try harder."

More >

Tess

Class of 2022

"I am so impressed with my fifth grader's ability to take detailed notes at such a young age! It’s been so rewarding watching this skill evolve from the beginning of the year..."

"The personalized learning program has been a positive experience for us. I am so impressed with my fifth grader's ability to take detailed notes at such a young age! It’s been so rewarding watching this skill evolve from the beginning of the year. I feel his progress is tangible and accessible to us as parents. Chase takes pride and accountability that he’s not behind and is succeeding by utilizing the progress reporting section. The summit program has allowed him to gain confidence and take ownership of his own learning, which was not the case previously in the more traditional model. I like being able to go on the Summit program to monitor his achievements instead of having to wait for conferences to find out how he is doing. Change is never easy for kids or parents. I feel what my fifth grader is doing with the personalized learning program is setting him up for great success in high school and college."

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Anna

Mother

"I appreciated the ownership that students showed over their learning..."

“I really enjoyed my visit to Holy Family, and in particular, appreciated the ownership that students showed over their learning. They were able to articulate what they were doing; why they were doing it; areas that they felt were their strengths and areas they thought they had an opportunity to grow and improve. Their ability to share specific examples across both their approach – the habits they took in their work – and specific content was really impressive.”

More >

Dr. Ryan Wise

Director of the Iowa Department of Education

“Personalized learning allows you to learn at your pace and in the way that’s best for you..."

“Personalized learning allows you to learn at your pace and in the way that’s best for you. It’s really for anybody. Sometimes, I struggle in school, and personalized learning is awesome for me. Last year, if I didn’t understand a math concept, it might be, ‘we’re moving on. I can help you after class.’ Now, if I don’t understand something I get help from my teacher and extra time in class until I do understand it. Also, if I do understand something right away, I can possibly move on a lot faster instead of waiting for everyone else to understand.”

More >

Ellie

Class of 2022

Additional Information & Resources

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 utilizing tools provided through the Summit Learning platform.

 

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

Summit Learning Resources:

The Institute for Personalized Learning:

EDGE – Holy Family's Personalized Learning Pilot Program

Beginning in the 2017–2018 school year, Holy Family announced the launch of EDGE, a pilot project for the gradual rollout of personalized learning in Holy Family schools.

Read our blog post on innovative education, featuring EDGE.

Contact Us

Lisa Krapfl

Director of Personalized Learning
lkrapfl@holyfamilydbq.org