Robotics Initiative Introduces Coding and Programming to Kindergarten Classrooms
The early introduction to coding combines computer science engineering and creative expression
BRAINTREE (August 18, 2016) -- Last week marked the beginning of the Kindergarten Robotics initiative, a formal partnership between Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers, professor and director of the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University, and the Catholic Schools Office at the Archdiocese of Boston. Eleven elementary schools were selected as part of a competitive application process to thoughtfully integrate STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) concepts into the curriculum and to introduce coding to young children. As part of this unique initiative, more than 80 KIBO robots will be used by kindergarteners throughout the academic year.
The two-day workshop centered on the engineering design process, coding concepts, and strategies for learning coding through play. Teachers completed a series of design challenges and experienced the learning process first-hand: experimenting with coding blocks, navigating KIBO to complete a set of tasks, and problem solving with their peers. The teachers also designed curricula for use in the classroom and utilized classroom teaching tools. As teachers integrate the developed unit into their curriculum, Dr. Bers will provide support and assist in educating parents and the larger school communities about the initiative.
Dr. Amy Ryan, associate superintendent of academics and digital learning, spearheaded the efforts to bring this initiative to the Archdiocese. She noted, “Through this innovative partnership we can provide young children with opportunities to better understand the digital world that they inhabit and cultivate the habits and mindset to become future engineers.”
As Dr. Bers further reflected, “Learning how to code is learning a new literacy. It’s a new way of thinking, a new way of expression. We start literacy when kids are young, when they’re curious and open to the world. It’s the same thing with coding.”
Often people consider themselves “arts” or “science” people. In response to that classification, Dr. Bers offered, “By 4th grade, stereotypes about who is good at STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – are already formed. So if we’re going to start programs that are geared to toward helping children engage with technology and programming, we want to start before the stereotypes kicked in. And there’s a lot of research that shows that the earlier you start, the better learning outcomes you’ll have, so we really want to start early.”
The goal of the Kindergarten Robotics Initiative is not just to teach robotics and programming, but to show how coding is part of our world. Said Dr. Bers, “With the KIBO robots the teachers can teach new concepts and new skills coming from computer science and engineering – but they can also use them to integrate with already existing curriculum of math, literacy, social science, religion, music, and art to teach something they’re already teaching, but in a new way.”
Kristina Favaloro, a K2 teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Mission Grammar) in Roxbury, agrees. “The robots that we will build in the classroom will help students connect their environment with how something works. For example, learning about robotics will make the students question how the paper towel machine makes paper towels come out. It won’t be seen as magic, they’ll question ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ and know there is a sensor, and a motor.”
The schools participating in the Kindergarten Robotics Initiative are:
Blessed Sacrament School – Walpole
Holy Family School - Rockland
Immaculate Conception School - Newburyport
Our Lady’s Academy - Waltham
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Mission Grammar) - Roxbury
Sacred Heart School - Kingston
Sacred Heart School - Lynn
Sacred Hearts School - Haverhill
Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy - Mattapan Campus
Saint Patrick School - Roxbury
Saint Paul School - Hingham
About Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston educate 38,000 students in 116 schools. The schools offer a high-quality, rigorous education that is rooted in Catholic faith and values for students age 2.9 through grade 12. www.catholicschoolsboston.org
FROM THE LOWELL SUN
Lowell Private Schools See New Leadership
by Amelia Pak-Harvey
LOWELL -- At Lowell Catholic High School just before the start of school, fences are coming down.
The renovations continue at the old St. Margaret School next door, as the school integrates into one PreK-12 school known simply as Lowell Catholic. Read more...
Olympians From the Archdiocese of Boston
Cheer them on social media with #CatholicOlympian
Whether you're watching the Olympics from the comfort of your home or in exciting Rio, be sure to cheer for these Olympians from the Archdiocese of Boston!
Mount Alvernia Academy, Newton
Mike DiSanto, Mount Alvernia Academy, class of 2002 and Harvard University Class of 2012, will be rowing for the United States in Rio. In late May, Mike DiSanto (MAA '02) and his teammates qualified to row in the men’s eight at the 2016 summer Olympics. Congratulations to him and his teammates. Good Luck! Go Team USA! To learn more about Mike DiSanto, visit this link.
St. John’s Prep, Danvers
Coach Jimmy Pedro, class of 1988 and Hall of Famer from St. John’s Prep, is the USA Judo Head Coach! Coach Pedro is leading Kayla Harrison, the defending gold medalist. Kayla, a Marblehead native, will compete in the -78 kilogram judo tournament on August 10.
Central Catholic High School, Lawrence
Brianne Camilleri, Central Catholic 2001, is the General Manager of the Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for the "Copacabana cluster" of events, which include sailing, beach volleyball, the triathlon, marathon swimming, road cycling, rowing. Brianne will also stay on in Rio for the Paralympic Games. She has lived and worked in the role in Rio for the last two years. She also was an Organizing Committee member for the 20012 Olympic games in London, as well as the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. She is a graduate of James Madison University, Virginia. She was a member of Central Catholic's first filly coeducational class entering in 1997. Brianne grew up in Boxford, MA where her parents still live.
**We will update this story as more information comes in! In the meantime, support these Olympians with #CatholicOlympian on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram**
Peering Into 2020
By Kathy Mears
(Published in The Pilot)
BRAINTREE (June 10, 2016) - Recently, I read an article that included a list of things that will NOT be in schools by 2020. Included on the very eclectic list were traditional libraries, students’ cell phones in a basket on a teacher’s desk, computer rooms and lunch lines with adults distributing food!
The article provoked thought and conversation. It provided my colleagues and me with an opportunity to discuss the future of education and Catholic education in particular.
It also made me think about the things that WILL be in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2020. Read more...
13 Students From Ste Jeanne d'Arc School Become Published Poets
LOWELL, MA (June 2016) - When third gr
ade teacher Mrs. Denise Panagopoulos submitted her students’ original poems to the National Schools Project 2016 Young American Poetry Digest Contest she knew they were good. She as thrilled to find out 13 were chosen to be published in the 2016 poetry book. Winners were chosen by a panel of teachers and educators based on quality of writing for the age and grade level. The judges looked for creativity, age-appropriate language, sensory/figurative images, structure, and poetic techniques. Read more…
Archdiocese Honors 11 Longtime Workers at Catholic Schools
ARTICLE FROM BOSTON GLOBE
by Reis Thebault
For Sister Ellen Powers, it ran in the family. Of course she would be a teacher: Her mother was, her father was. And so she would be an educator, too. For 42 years.
Christina Meaney knew her calling by the time she got to elementary school. She watched her teachers struggle to explain math to her classmates. So she showed her teachers a different way to do it. After she finished school, Meaney taught for 20 years. Read more...
Above, left to right: Bishop Peter Uglietto with retirees, school principals, and members of the Catholic Schools Office; Mary Jane Campbell from St. Mary of the Hills School in Milton listens as Principal Mary Carberry reminisces about their time together at the school; Kathy Roever from Monsignor Haddad Middle School smiles as Principal Jared Belliveau shares a story Kathy and her students.
Twelve Students in the Archdiocese of Boston Receive Full-Tuition Scholarships to Boston University
The students were chosen based on academic achievements and character
BRAINTREE (May 2016) - Twelve students from the Archdiocese of Boston were recently awarded the 2016 Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship; Cardinal Medeiros Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship to Boston University. The Scholars are chosen for their academic achievements, demonstrated leadership skills, and contributions to their schools and communities.
The 2016 Cardinal Medeiros Scholars are:
William Barnard – Xaverian Brothers High School
Ishrat Chowdhury – Bishop Fenwick High School
Aidan Coia – Xaverian Brothers High School
Erin Condon – Marian High School
Samantha Curley – Lowell Catholic High School
Anna Daher – Saint Joseph Preparatory High School
Sarah Golden – Archbishop Williams High School
Brian Harrington – Catholic Memorial School
Carina Imbornone – Central Catholic High School
Emily Masse – Academy of Notre Dame
Nicholas McCool – Central Catholic High School
Meaghan Walsh – Fontbonne Academy
The scholarships were presented by the Provost of Boston University, Dr. Jean Morrison, and Cardinal Seán O’Malley. By the time the 2016 Cardinal Medeiros Scholars graduate from B.U., the program will have enrolled 420 scholars and contributed more than $49 million from the university to the greater Boston area and students of the Archdiocese.
Ursuline Academy Breaks Ground for New Athletic and Convocation Center
The new building will house classrooms and an innovation lab, a regulation-size gymnasium, a fitness room, gathering space, and more.
DEDHAM (May 2016) - Ursuline Academy broke ground on May 16 for the construction of a new 40,000 square foot Athletic and Convocation Center. The ACC is the first major enhancement to the Lowder Street campus since the addition of a Science Wing in 2002. The new building will house classrooms and an innovation lab, a regulation-size gymnasium, a fitness room, gathering space, and more. It is strategically located overlooking the academic building, the playing fields, and the Convent that was formerly home to the Ursuline Sisters, connecting to the schools’ objective of helping students to grow in mind, body and spirit. It is expected to be completed by the fall of 2017. Read more...
Five Students from the Archdiocese of Boston Selected as Candidates for Presidential Scholars Program
The five students were part of a group of 180 students chosen from Massachusetts
BRAINTREE (April 2016) – Five students from the Archdiocese of Boston were recently named as candidates for the Presidential Scholars Program. The Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors some of the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors, and they are selected based on exemplary SAT or ACT scores.
Emma Cho - Notre Dame Academy, Hingham Laura Caron, Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington
Christina Zoldak, Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody Christopher Potvin, St. Sebastian's School, Needham
Katelyn Benson, Central Catholic High School, Lawrence
St. Benedict Elementary School: South Natick's Newly Recognized Independent Catholic School
New Headmaster Jay Boren is leading school to a strong future
SOUTH NATICK (October 7, 2015) – St. Benedict Elementary School in South Natick was recently approved by Cardinal Seán O’Malley as an independent Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Boston. Prior to this declaration, St. Benedict Elementary School was an independent school that educated students “in the Catholic tradition.” ...Read more.
Mount Alvernia Academy Named Blue Ribbon School
Mount Alvernia Academy is one of five schools named in Massachusetts
CHESTNUT HILL - Mount Alvernia Academy (www.maa.school), a Catholic coeducational school in Chestnut Hill, has been named a Blue Ribbon School for 2015 by the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Mount Alvernia Academy, which educates students Preschool-Grade 6, is one of five schools in Massachusetts and the only private school in the Northeast to achieve this honor ...Read more.
Yawkey Award for Teaching Excellence Bestowed Upon St. John Paul II Catholic Academy Educators
DORCHESTER/MATTAPAN (September 25, 2015) – On Thursday, September 25th, eight educators from Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy were presented with the annual Yawkey Award for Teaching Excellence ...Read more.
13 Students From Eight Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston Named National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists
Students are among the highest-scoring entrants in Massachusetts
BRAINTREE (September 9, 2015) -- Thirteen students from eight schools in the Archdiocese of Boston were announced today as National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists. Approximately 1.5 million students applied for the program ...Read more.
I am a Catholic School Nurse
by Elizabeth Paquette, RN, Malden Catholic High School, National Chair of the Private & Parochial School Nurses
My name is Elizabeth Paquette and I am a Catholic School Nurse. I began to write school nurse but a realization quickly became apparent, I am a Catholic School Nurse. It is my own Catholicity, as well as the school’s identity that is reflected in my own nursing practice. It is my faith that influences my every interaction and decision ...Read more.