Filed underIndependent Schools
The buildings that house Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic School rest behind a Church and Parish Center, forming a tidy perimeter around an asphalt parking lot that borders Eastern and Old Eastern Avenues in Middle River. Its campus is not as large or aesthetically welcoming as that of some of its Baltimore County neighbors like Loyola or Calvert Hall. It does not posses the well-heeled benefactors that can write huge checks to build state-of-the-art athletic facilities that do little to enhance education.
What Our Lady of Mt. Carmel does have however, cannot be measured in dollars. It has a quantity far more valuable; a leader who keenly grasps that if students are to succeed, they need the best tools available. To that end, Kathleen Sipes is succeeding.
Ms. Sipes is in charge of a very unique school, one that does not follow the typical Archdiocesan model. The school is made up of an elementary, middle, and high school. Most parochial schools adhere to the model of separating the elementary/middle schools from the high schools. Only Loyola Blakefield for boys, and Maryvale Prep for girls deviate from the traditional model, beginning admittance for students at the middle school level. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is also one of a handful of Archdiocesan schools that is co-ed. What better venue to buck the tide of traditional education is there than here?
Yesterday, we detailed the Verizon Wireless Mobile Learning Lab that is visiting four Baltimore City high schools once a week. The students taking part in the city program have access to a new generation of inter-active learning using the Samsung Galaxy Tab once a week. Middle and high school students at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel have access to this new generation of high-tech learning daily.
Students in the middle and high school science classes have been using twenty-five Galaxy Tabs the school purchased at the beginning of the 2011/2012 school year. The initial purchase was feasible with unit discounts provided by Verizon Wireless, and trial software programs. For next year, Ms. Sipes is hoping to expand the use of mobile devices in the classroom by purchasing another four sets, or one-hundred devices. This would help move the program into the elementary school level.
The biggest obstacle standing in the way is money. Even with the discount pricing, and trial programs, this is still an expensive undertaking. The trail period for the software on the existing units the school is using will expire with the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year. Still, as you will see tomorrow, the benefits Ms. Sipes is seeing in the classroom may be worth the stretch.
Written by Richard Wonder. Used by Permission.