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"Window Moments" in Brownsville

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by Kelly Griffith - ACE 23, Brownsville

Kelly Griffith Window Moments

Saying “yes” to ACE was the most hesitant “yes” I have ever said. For the first time, I jumped blindly into something with no way of knowing how I might come out on the other side.

Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium: Exceeding Expectations

Monday, March 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony


This past week, we welcomed 40 outstanding individuals to the Blended Learning in Catholic Schools Symposium (BLiCSS), a unique gathering of blended-learning thought leaders to further innovation in K-12 Catholic schools. We hoped that this event would be an opportunity for leaders in Catholic education to form a unified mission and vision for blended learning in Catholic schools, to share best practices, and to identify ​research opportunities from across our schools – and it is safe to say that BLiCSS exceeded our expectations!

Community in ACE: Stockton, CA

Friday, March 16, 2018 by ACE Stockton

The members of ACE Teaching Fellows in Stockton provide a look into their experiences of living as a community.

Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom: Part Two

Friday, March 09, 2018 by Daara Jalili - ACE 24, LA East

 Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom (Part Two)

I was once told that small acts of love–routine or not–were called “lower-case-s” sacraments, for they brought God’s grace into our lives. My life each day as a math and science teacher at Cantwell Sacred-Heart of Mary High School in East Los Angeles is rich with these small signs of God’s grace. Yet, even as I write this reflection, I find myself hesitant to share the anecdote from the first part of this reflection. After all, we are called during these 40 days of Lent to cleanse body and mind in order to receive God’s ultimate sacrifice. We are called to prepare ourselves for the Living Sacrament–capital S. With an act of such infinite self-giving love on the horizon–one that is the very center of our faith–why would I share such a seemingly inconsequential story?

Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom: Part One

Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by Daara Jalili - ACE 24, LA East

 Lenten Blog

After observing Ash Wednesday to start Lent, we have been thrust into a season of intentional reflection and prayer. As a Catholic educator, I feel called not only to prepare lesson plans and materials for my students in these 40 days but to also curate opportunities for my students to reflect on the season of Lent in the classroom. The first of these opportunities for students was one that is a staple among Catholic school-teachers across this country. I had students write down their Lenten promises on small purple pieces of paper and posted them on a bulletin board.

Ruth Hurrle: Driving Student Success with Blended Learning

Friday, March 02, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Ruth Hurrle Central Catholic

If you have been following the Higher-Powered Learning blog for some time now, you know that we really value the leaders of our blended-learning schools. In our last post, we explained why we believe that school leaders drive student success, and how we have witnessed that in our Notre Dame ACE Academies implementing blended learning. So today, we want to share a bit more about one of the school leaders who is making us look good as she helps her teachers implement blended learning.

Fasting for Inclusion

Thursday, March 01, 2018 by The PIE Team

Fasting for Inclusion - Program for Inclusive Education

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?" – Isaiah 58:6-7

Technology Isn't the Key to Blended Learning Success (At Least Not In Our Classrooms)

Monday, February 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning Blog Selection Criteria

In the same way that many people mistakenly confuse one-to-one technology programs with blended-learning programs, many people also assume that technology is the key to blended learning’s success – but it’s not, at least not in our classrooms.

"Why is This Model of Learning Not Standard Across the Nation?"

Monday, February 05, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Trustey STEM Teaching Fellows RISE Summit

I recently had the privilege of joining my colleagues from the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education for the third annual RISE Summit in Palo Alto, California. The RISE Summit is an opportunity for Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows–some of the nation’s most outstanding STEM teachers who take part in a multiyear professional development program through the Center–to gather, reflect, collaborate, and grow. As if a trip to California in January was not enough on its own, I was overjoyed by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination of the 56 Fellows. I learned so much from these outstanding teachers throughout our short workshop on blended learning, and I wanted to share one of the most important takeaways and one of the most interesting discussions from our session.

Program for Inclusive Education: Why You Should Apply

Monday, February 05, 2018 by The PIE Team

Program for Inclusive Education - Why You Should Apply

It’s early February...that time of year when you are in the thick of teaching, thinking about the content you still need to cover and ensuring all students make sufficient progress. Maybe you are asking...what’s next? The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) offers professional development in meeting the needs of ALL students in your Catholic school classroom!

Why ACE? 7 Reasons, Factors, and Motivators

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Caroline Rooney, ACE 25 Intern

Caroline Rooney Why ACE? 7 Reasons, Factors, and Motivators

Entering into a new community can be an intimidating experience. But sitting in ACE Chaplain Father Joe Carey’s family room at the beginning of the year, I felt at home with the other ACE Interns as we talked about our discernment processes. Talking to FJ, surrounded by my incredible classmates and ACE community leaders—some I knew and some I had just met— we all laughed, listened, and spoke with one another as if we had been long-time friends. I vividly remember feeling so profoundly struck by each person’s vocational journey that guided them to say “yes” to ACE. Inspired by that night and the passionate responses of my ACE community members, I came up with the seven (my lucky number) reasons, factors, and motivators that guided my vocational discernment:

Blended Learning: "The Right Thing for Your Students"

Monday, January 22, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

ACE 23 Maggie Schmid Blended Learning The Right Thing for Your Students

It’s pretty common for teachers to assure us that they are doing blended learning, only for us to quickly discover that they are really just using technology in their classroom without actually changing the way students learn. It is far less common, however, for teachers to accidentally implement blended learning without doing so intentionally – but that is exactly what happened for the star of today’s post, Maggie Schmid.

8 Resolutions for the 2018 Inclusive Classroom

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by Dr. Sean J. Smith - Faculty, Program for Inclusive Education

8 Resolutions in 2018 for the Inclusive Classroom

As 2018 begins, resolutions abound of healthier eating, less spending, and more family time. I’m sure we have all made one or two for the new year. In light of resolutions, the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) would like to offer eight strategies and tips for teachers to make inclusion in your classrooms possible: 8 Resolutions for the 2018 Inclusive Classroom. Dr. Sean J. Smith from the University of Kansas is a professor and researcher of special education and a member of the PIE faculty team. He provides insightful and practical ways to ensure success for ALL students, including those who struggle and/or are diagnosed with differences. Many thanks to Dr. Smith for his contribution and blessings to you and your schools for 2018!

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

Exciting News for the Higher-Powered Learning Team

Monday, January 08, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning to Minneapolis

Our blended-learning team is absolutely thrilled to announce our new partnership with the GHR Foundation to implement blended-learning programs in schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis! We have been contemplating expanding our work outside of the Notre Dame ACE Academies for some time now, and we could not resist the opportunity to work with the amazing GHR team (and in Fr. Nate’s hometown, no less!).

Gracias por todo, Chile. Regresaré.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Brittany Borman, ChACE 16

Today was our last day with students of the school year. They frantically scribbled their answers on their last final exam of the year (Lenguaje, or Spanish Language, in the case of the 8th graders whose test I was proctoring). One by one, the students in my classroom finished their tests, turned them in, and left the room. Several students left with a sigh of relief, some with shouts of “Terminé!” and one boy even walked out singing his own personal theme song. By finishing that exam, the 8th graders had closed a chapter of their lives. Done with 8th grade, done with middle school, now they were looking forward to the future.

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