By Emily Drooby
When the new school year starts in September, two Brooklyn Catholic schools – Holy Angels Catholic Academy and St. Anselm Catholic Academy – will become Bay Ridge Catholic.
One of the big ways the curriculum at Bay Ridge Catholic will become a new model for a new world is through engineering.
“It’s understanding that they’re living in a different world and if we don’t prepare them for that we are doing them a disservice,” said Roxanna De Pena-Elder, the District Superintendent of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Bay Ridge Catholic Academy is going to develop an education plan that relies on the way engineers solve problems.
“The engineering design models is really the process that an engineering thinks about when they’re solving a problem and coming to a new solution and testing it out,” said Elizabeth Frangella, the Associate Superintendent of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
For example, a kindergarten class learning the story of the Three Little Pigs would get an interactive lesson.
“How can we build a stronger house? And so, we give them modeling clay, pipe cleaners and it starts to get them thinking about that engineering design thinking,” explained Frangella.
The school also has new, flexible classrooms with all different kinds of seating — bean bag chairs.
“The new classrooms I think are very, very cool and they help kids who like are fidgety, and who need help a little bit learning like standing and it helps them concentrate,” said Julian Burdo, a student at St. Anselm Catholic Academy.
All of the technology in these classrooms offer hands-on learning so that students can be actively involved in what they’re learning.
“It’s making technology part of the everyday class and not a separate thing, it’s playing an intricate role in everything they do,” said De Pena-Elder.
The new curriculum will pay close attention to faith and also the arts.
“Studies show that math and ELA scores improve when the arts is incorporated,” De Pena-Elder continued.
Enrollment is open right now. The school will be located in the St. Anselm building and parents should know they also get a say in how the curriculum is developed.
The next meeting of parents of both schools will be at St. Anselm on Tuesday, Feb. 11.