Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School has become Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy and its transformation will be marked at a mass celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 30. The mass will be followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:50.

In addition to the school community, staff and alumni families, several local dignitaries and government leaders have been invited to attend. Members of the Our Lady of Fatima parish are also welcome.

Recognized as a National Blue Ribbon, co-educational, accredited institution, the new academy model will begin with the 2019-2020 school year. The launch of the new academy model features the continuation of the successful Personalized Approach to Learning for each student in Pre-K3 through eighth grade, the introduction multi-age classrooms for Pre-K through fifth grade, and a new Academy Governance model.

Personalized approach

Last fall, the Diocese of Bridgeport chose Our Lady of Fatima to lead the way in the future of Catholic education by launching a Personalized Approach to Learning. With this approach, instruction is fluid and flexible, based on the needs of the student. This approach allows each child to receive a tailored education, allowing them to excel in their strength areas, while identifying and receiving added support and attention in areas needing improvement.

“A Personalized Approach to Learning allows students to learn in an environment that engages, inspires, and empowers them. Whole group, small group, and one-on-one instructional strategies are combined with cutting-edge learning technologies to provide each student with a personalized learning experience in the classroom,” Principal Stanley Steele said in a statement.

“This approach to learning also provides the teaching staff and students with autonomy and empowers them to take student learning to the next level” he added.

Technology is one of several tools to enhance curriculum and encourages student creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Another tool, the “station-rotation” model, incorporates teacher-directed instruction to small groups based on a student’s needs and student collaboration on a teacher-assigned project to create and communicate mastery of skills and knowledge.

Multi-age

The introduction of multi-age classrooms allows children to spend a longer period of time with the same teacher, resulting in a stronger learning relationship and continuous learning. The classroom dynamic also stimulates mentorship.

“These academic offerings coupled with a STEAM curriculum and small class sizes will allow Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy to provide the foundation for tomorrow’s leaders, with students achieving excellence beyond standardized testing norms,” Steele said.

Governance

Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy is now a freestanding institution. Its governance and financial management are provided by an academy board with Diocesan oversight. The academy model is a new governance model for selected Diocese of Bridgeport Schools designed to empower leadership at the individual school level.

Our Lady of Fatima is at 225 Danbury Road. Information: ssteele@olfcatholic.org, 203-762-8100 or olfacademy.org.