While inner-city Catholic schools across the nation close in the face of struggles, St. Therese Catholic Academy in Madrona turned its fortunes around in recent years by focusing on a technology-heavy “blended learning” model, bolstered by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
From the Seattle Times report:
Up until two years ago, St. Therese Catholic Academy, an 85-year-old school in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood, found itself on the same discouraging path that has led thousands of Catholic schools across the nation to close.
Enrollment in the handsome brick building dwindled to a mere 91 students, or about 10 per grade level. Expenses kept going up. If nothing changed, closure was a strong possibility.
The school’s leaders didn’t waste time tinkering, instead making a series of big changes that helped enrollment reach 173 students when school opened on Aug. 27, nearly double the number in fall 2010.
Part of the turnaround grew from the simple hard work of putting up fliers and making calls, as well as adding a new prekindergarten program last fall. But St. Therese also is attracting families with a new emphasis on computer instruction.
UPDATE: Slog has a different take on the situation.