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Our Latest Rock Star: Maryknoll School

Monday, February 8, 2016 -- Scott Sterling

Maryknoll School in Honolulu is one of Hawaii’s premier private schools. Since 2007, every single Maryknoll graduate has moved on to higher education. However, it isn't by chance that a school reaches that level of success without proactively trying to improve every facet of its system. That effort has recently led to the founding of the Mx Scholar Programs. The first branch of their program to be rolled out is the Mx STEM & Aerospace program, which engages students in real-world, project-based STEM learning through partnerships with institutions and businesses like the Civil Air Patrol.

Edmentum solutions, including Plato Courseware and Edmentum Assessments, power the program’s blended learning offerings. That kind of flexibility is important when you consider that the Mx STEM & Aerospace students will have to fit flight simulations, aerospace design, and field mentoring opportunities into the regular school day. Maryknoll director of virtual curriculum Stephanie Frank explained how the new program works and how blended learning is used to move students along at their own pace.

How does the Mx Scholar Program for STEM & Aerospace work?

Ms. Frank: We collaborated with the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and focusing on courses related to STEM from the CTE library and the core Plato courses, the Mx Scholar [STEM &] Aerospace program is designed to serve accelerated students. The Edmentum courses will augment courses from Project Lead the Way, flight lessons, robotics workshops, and professional partnerships/mentoring.

What are some of the benefits of blended learning in this new program?

Ms. Frank: We are serving advanced students at Mx, and Edmentum allows these students to go as fast as they desire and allows them to be exempt from materials they already know. Since Edmentum is engaging and offers external links and interesting projects, these students are able to expand their knowledge—all at their own pace.

What role does technology play in the rest of Maryknoll’s classrooms?

Ms. Frank: We have developed relationships with schools in Wuhan and Shanghai, China, often having student- and teacher-exchange trips. We’re working to offer ESL ReadingSmart, the Plato core classes, and SAT/ACT prep at those partner schools.

We are also in the process of having certain teachers trained and offering Plato Courseware within the whole school. Some courses will follow a more traditional blended model, having a head teacher and a normal class load, while other courses may be a couple of students taking courses in a learning commons area with a teacher/mentor.

Want to learn more about Maryknoll School’s outstanding STEM program? Check out their success story!