Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy announced that it has been awarded a $50,000 challenge grant by the highly regarded Edward E. Ford Foundation. The grant will support the research, development and implementation of an Innovation Lab, a dedicated, cross-disciplinary learning environment specifically designed to support collaboration, design thinking, and project-based learning.
“Receiving a grant from the prestigious E.E. Ford Foundation is a powerful endorsement of our vision for the academic program at FSHA,” said Sister Carolyn McCormack, O.P., president. “The rigor of the selection process allowed us to carefully consider the impact of an Innovation Lab on our program. Our 1:1 Laptop Program, launched in 2012, put technology at the fingertips of all our students and revitalized our curriculum. The Innovation Lab will build on the success of this program and allow us to remain responsive to the ever-changing educational landscape.”
In order to receive the $50,000 grant, FSHA must raise $100,000 in matching funds by June 30, 2017. Once the funding is in place, FSHA will work with educational experts and research other schools to identify the best location, the specific type of furniture, technology and equipment needed, and the overall layout of the Innovation Lab to meet FSHA’s unique needs.
FSHA is moving from a teacher-centered learning environment to a student-centered environment that requires flexibility and a design that promotes collaboration and creativity. The 1:1 Laptop Program provides the technology infrastructure that supports this educational change, yet FSHA remains limited by physical constraints of existing classrooms, the majority of which were built in 1952 and have gone virtually unchanged since then. The high school renovation project, a significant component of FSHA’s Master Plan, addresses the dated classrooms and will update them to 21st Century standards.
The Innovation Lab will serve as a prototype for classroom spaces that will be built as part of the high school renovation. More importantly, the Innovation Lab allows faculty members to gain immediate experience with incorporating technology innovation in the classroom and students to gain immediate benefits. Before FSHA invests in a multi-million dollar high school renovation, the Innovation Lab will allow the school to research and test a new teaching environment on a smaller scale, in an effort to be smarter about how the new classrooms are constructed.
“Our Honors Scientific Research class and one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary research program are just two examples of the unique and innovative curriculum at FSHA,” said Sherrie Singer, assistant principal for Curriculum and Instruction. “The Innovation Lab will give us the space to explore and create using the critical thinking skills needed for the 21st century workforce.”
To learn more and to support the challenge grant, contact the FSHA Advancement Office at (626) 685-8400.