Since 2015, St. Ann, The Personal School has been at the forefront of bringing personalized learning into the classroom. Our focus on teaching each child as an individual is essential to our mission of "preparing students to take their place in the world" and helping them fulfill their God-given potential. At its essence, we see personalized learning as an expression of our community's devotion to each child, and a mirror for how God loves each of us equally and individually.
At St. Ann, personalized learning means that we guarantee every child will receive individualized instruction and a customized, continually updated academic plan. Our proprietary model includes three main components: first, we assess each student's comprehension within every Common Core standard in our exclusive "Personalized Education Plans"; second, we use a flexible teaching model that allows us to customize instruction for each student throughout the year; and last, we ensure continuity year after year, from Kindergarten through 8th Grade.
The Personal School Model:
Three Essential Elements of Personalized Learning
Personalized Education Plans
St. Ann's exclusive "Personalized Education Plan" (PEP) is the roadmap each child carries from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. The PEP maps a student's comprehension against every Common Core standard, in every grade (683 standards in all). Updated twice weekly through teacher observation and targeted work on the computer, this assessment will pinpoint whether a student is on level, needs additional guidance, or should be provided advanced lessons in each standard. In addition, we use the PEP to create yearly "Personal Growth Targets" and "Stretch Targets" that teachers use to measure student progress throughout the year.
Flexible Teaching Model
St. Ann delivers student-centered, personalized instruction through our flexible teaching model known as "Blended Learning". Within Blended Learning, students rotate through three stations: direct instruction, small group learning with peers, and individual work on iPads or Chrome Books.
Small Group Learning
Individual Computer Work
Teachers divide students based on similar needs and create customized lesson plans, reviewing key concepts with students who have not mastered them, and pushing other students ahead to new challenges. In this way, St. Ann is able to always meet students "where they are". Students have embraced the new teaching methods, and faculty are grateful to be able to provide a level of individual attention that was never possible in a traditional classroom setting.
Continuity: Kindergarten through 8th Grade
Perhaps most importantly, St. Ann, The Personal School is uniquely qualified to deliver cohesive instruction year after year. Our student-centered mission, small class sizes, and single physical location make St. Ann the ideal environment for personalized learning.
In our years of experience, we found that children who receive an overall "proficient" score on State Tests often lack comprehension in a few individual Common Core standards. Therefore, as students move from Kindergarten through 8th grade, we continually assess them to diagnose what each child already understands, and where they need more help. We then provide new opportunities to learn what they have missed.
In the Lower School, teachers work across grade levels to share lesson plans for each standard so that they can be repeated as necessary for each child. In the Middle School, teachers actually group children across grades so that each student can be taught at the appropriate level. This means that any Common Core standard that was not fully understood in prior years will be retaught until comprehension is assured.
Our style of teaching has the added benefit of assisting transfer students to catch up without remedial tutoring. First, transfer students are assessed to understand where they have gaps are and where they are advanced. Then, standard by standard, these students receive the type of instruction they need to fulfill their academic potential.
At St. Ann, "The Personal School" is more than our teaching style, it is a reflection of our belief that every child has a special purpose, and a commitment we make to help them find it. We invite you to visit us!