Innovation in Education

November 7, 2018

Article from Fulcrum News, Winter 2018

Catholic schools across the Archdiocese are benefiting from a new tech innovation supported by the Southall Innovation Fund. To date, principals and teachers at 50 elementary schools and three high schools are currently using eWalk, an electronic teacher observation tool that supports the development of teachers in key categories.

eWalk material is housed online, which allows principals and teachers to quickly communicate and share observations and feedback in real time. “The eWalk app has allowed us to develop a common language in our classrooms,” says Kaitlyn O’Leary, an Assistant Superintendent in the Office for Catholic Schools. “It also increases collaboration across our schools. Now we have a shared way of talking about improvement and growth.”

“It was time to move away from an antiquated evaluation model that was based on one or two snapshots in time, and for our teachers to receive meaningful, ongoing feedback they could immediately put into practice within their classrooms,” says Anna Horton, principal at Holy Rosary School in West Seattle.

Funds from the Southall Innovation Fund have made it possible for 17 additional schools to adopt this innovative program. “Rose Southall is a woman who has always been ahead of her time,” says O’Leary. “She received a Master’s degree in Computer Science when computers filled large rooms. We’re really grateful for her deep appreciation of the power of technology to enhance teaching practices.”

The Southall Innovation Fund was created by Rose Southall to support systemic, sustainable solutions for Catholic schools. This fund was established through annual gifts for the short term, and in the future will be endowed through a generous planned estate gift from Rose and her late husband, Jack. Beyond the eWalk platform, the Southall Innovation Fund will continue to fund innovative projects to support Catholic schools. “Education is the passport from poverty,” says Rose, “and innovation will continue to be important to schools in years to come.”

Download the entire 2018 winter newsletter here.