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Archdiocese of Chicago Receives $1M Grant from CME Group Foundation to Launch Innovative Personalized Learning Program at Selected Schools

The Archdiocese is collaborating with LEAP Innovations on a five-year personalized learning program at three Catholic schools
Chicago, IL (January 23, 2017) – The Archdiocese of Chicago announced today it has received a $1 million grant from the CME Group Foundation to launch a five-year personalized learning program at three Catholic schools. The grant funds professional development, training, software, technology infrastructure and maintenance needed to successfully implement the literacy and writing-focused program. The Archdiocese is collaborating with LEAP Innovations, a 501(c)(3) social enterprise headquartered in Chicago that connects innovation and education to personalize learning, to facilitate the professional development that will support the implementation of this instructional model at St. Albert the Great School, located in Burbank; St. Catherine of Siena/St. Lucy School, located in Oak Park; and St. Genevieve School, located in Chicago. The schools were selected following an application process.
“Our Catholic schools have a long reputation for excellence and innovation” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “This grant will help us enhance our ability to offer a twenty-first century education to meet the needs of all learners. We are incredibly thankful to the CME Group Foundation for their generous gift.”
The personalized learning program at the three schools is a school-wide approach with school administrators, team leaders, teachers and staff members all engaged. The focus of the kindergarten through 8th grade program is literacy and writing. Among the program goals is to see an improvement in student achievement, specifically students meeting or exceeding grade-level benchmarks in reading and writing as measured through the ACT Aspire test. ACT Aspire is the annual test administrated at all Catholic elementary schools across the Archdiocese. The test assesses students’ academic proficiency in five academic areas: English, reading, math, science and writing.
”As a leading technology company, CME Group is pleased to partner through our foundation with the Archdiocese schools as part of our efforts to enhance education throughout Chicago,” said Terry Duffy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, CME Group. “By providing the necessary funding for technical infrastructure, training and software, this five-year grant will support the collaboration between the Archdiocese schools and LEAP to personalize learning and therefore improve student outcomes, particularly in literacy and writing.”
As part of the program, LEAP Innovations will work with the participating schools to analyze the schools’ current instructional practices, curriculum and tools to identify challenges to address through personalized learning. School leaders and teachers will work with LEAP Innovations to create and execute a quality, classroom-based personalized learning program enhanced by educational technology. Participating school leaders and teachers across the three schools will collaborate with each other through group trainings and discussions. School leaders and teachers will also have access to online content modules, allowing for independent work to strengthen understanding and improve practice.
“We are excited to once again partner with Archdiocese schools as they reinvent their classrooms to focus on learner-centered education,” said Phyllis Lockett, CEO of LEAP Innovations. “At LEAP, we believe it is about the practice first and the tools second. We look forward to supporting the school teams through professional development and planning designed to create the most effective personalized learning strategies for their students.”