Seton Blended Learning Network: 2017-18 Results
In its seventh year, Seton Education Partners expanded its pioneering Blended Learning Initiative to one additional school—St. Teresa of Avila in Cincinnati—while continuing to support the 12 other blended learning network schools in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. This growth means that in 2017-18, Seton Education partners partnered with thirteen schools in seven cities serving over 3,300 students.
Growth did not impede success. On the nationally normed NWEA MAP assessment, Seton scholars beat the national average of students achieving one or more years of growth by 13% in reading and 8% in math. Seton also helped ensure that 91% of 3rd grade scholars at our Cincinnati blended learning schools met Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee—a 28% increase from pre-Seton average.
Seton's investors brought nearly $750,000 in computer hardware, the most advanced educational software, and on-the-ground expertise to create an instructional environment that provides personalized learning for students in core academic subjects. During classes, half of the students received individualized instruction on computers while the other half engaged in data-driven, small-group instruction with their teacher.
Seton worked with each school's leadership team to inject best practices from high-performing urban schools to build a culture where scholars develop the knowledge, skills, and character traits necessary to earn college degrees and pursue lives of value, faith, and integrity. Propelled by these changes and the Seton Blended Learning Network's proven results, our partner schools significantly increased enrollment and reduced per-pupil operating costs this year. For a printable version, click here.
1. How did student academic growth compare to the national average?
In Seton's seventh year, students continued to make tremendous academic gains.
Seton blended learning scholars take the nationally normed Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress assessment which allows schools to compare student growth to grade-level peers across state lines. NWEA MAP monitors student growth in the fall, winter, and spring. According to NWEA, only 50% of students nationally meet their individual growth targets. This year, Seton Blended Learning Network scholars outperformed the national average of students achieving one or more years of growth by 13% in reading and 8% in math, demonstrating growth on par with or outpacing that at many high-performing charter networks on the nationally normed NWEA MAP assessment.
2. Is this more growth than individual students would typically achieve? Yes.
Schools should be expected to deliver one year of academic progress for each year a student is in school. On NWEA MAP, only 50% of students meet this goal. Scholars in the Seton Blended Learning Network are growing 1.3 times faster than the national average in reading and 1.2 times in math. This accelerated growth helps scholars eliminate the achievement gap between our students and their more affluent peers.
Similarly, most Seton Blended Learning Network classrooms grew faster than other classrooms at the same starting point. A grade's growth percentile ranking helps put NWEA MAP data into context. This metic measures how a grade level's growth compares to similar classrooms nationally. As you can see below, the vast majority of our classes demonstrated growth in the top third of their respective grades.
3. Did national percentile rankings improve? Yes.
4. Has enrollment improved? Yes.
Seton Blended Learning Network schools collectively increased enrollment 30% from pre-Seton totals. Schools are not only more financially sustainable, but they're providing more low-income students with access to high-quality, faith-based education.
5. What’s next for the Seton Blended Learning Network?
Seton is excited to have two additional schools join the Seton Blended Learning Network, taking the total number of schools in the network to fourteen. St. Francis School in Cleveland and Immaculate Conception School in Dayton, Ohio will become blended learning schools beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The addition of these schools means that the Seton Blended Learning Network will serve over 4,100 students nationwide and partner with five schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Each school in the first two years of implementing Seton's model will have a full-time, on-the-ground expert supporting teachers in the areas of blended learning best practices, data analysis, and school culture. All of Seton's blended learning managers are talented, experienced urban educators who have completed service through Teach for America or the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education Program. Seton is excited to welcome St. Francis and Immaculate Conception and their children, families, and staff members to the Seton Blended Learning Network family.
Next year we also will be adding two managers to support our alumni schools as they continue their blended learning journeys. These individuals will travel to our twelve alumni schools throughout the year to share best practices, give feedback, and provide support. This will allows us to strengthen our community of practice by hosting professional development events, sharing successes and resources among schools, and connecting schools to each other in a meaningful way. New Seton blended learning schools will collaborate with existing network members via Seton's nationwide professional development model that relentlessly pursues ways to better serve both students and teachers. We are very excited to be in a position to drive even better results at our partner schools, regardless of their tenure in the Seton Blended Learning Network.
Incoming Seton Blended Learning Director Emily Gilbride shares her excitement. "Catholic schools have a rich tradition of serving low-income families. We, at Seton, are thrilled to partner with fourteen Catholic schools to help assure that the 4,100 students they serve receive an excellent education. While our academic results are fantastic, we are most proud that partner schools offer personalized instruction and robust character education in a faith-based setting. Every day our scholars experience a cutting-edge model while learning how to achieve excellence and model Christ in their communities. That is a combination you cannot get anywhere else."
To learn more about the Seton Blended Learning Network, and how your school or diocese can join, please contact Emily Gilbride.