RUMFORD---A new approach to learning, enhanced facilities, and an upgrade in technology has area families excited about the student experience being offered at Holy Savior School in Rumford. The improvements are not only benefitting students and teachers at the school, but are also inspiring interest and generosity from afar.
“Upon hearing about what we have done and plan to do at Holy Savior, an anonymous supporter of Catholic education from outside the area has come forward and offered a $25,000 gift to be used as a matching funds opportunity to continue our growth,” said Fr. Nathan March, pastor of Holy Savior Parish in Rumford. “That means every dollar raised during this campaign will actually generate two dollars for our school and help us to remove barriers that prevent some families from having their children experience our new approach.”
That approach is called “blended learning.”
Since the start of the 2016-2017 academic year, Holy Savior has partnered with Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn to offer the program for students enrolled in Rumford. Blended learning is a research-proven strategy that combines traditional teaching methods with the delivery of content and material via digital and online media. The pace and application of the material is adjusted on a student-by-student basis. Another component of the approach is a project-based model of education that allows students to leave the classroom and conduct field studies at places like Black Mountain. The infrastructure at Holy Savior School is also improved after an investment in innovative technology and independent learning software, and staff members continually participate in professional development designed to create a classroom experience with both modern and traditional components.
“This year, we hired several new faculty members who bring experience with technology and project-based learning,” said Fr. March.
The initial success of blended learning has drawn attention from across the country.
“Last year, we presented at the National Catholic Education Association’s annual conference,” said Fr. March. “We’ve also been approached by several publications to discuss various aspects of our approach.”
The school is also committed to finding creative ways to make the school accessible to all.
“We’ve lowered our tuition rate to make it affordable for families. It is the most affordable Catholic education in Maine,” said Fr. March. “We are also one of the only schools to offer a new family rate to make it easier for large families to send all of their kids to Holy Savior.”
While the improvements and new features at the school have created a stir in the community, the traditions and mission of Holy Savior remain the same. Students are encouraged to strive for excellence in the classroom, serve the community, and focus on their personal development.
“The mission of Holy Savior and all of our Catholic schools in Maine is to form our students to their full potential,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “We educate, yes. But, in truth, we strive to form our students into whole persons for the world in which they live. As we encourage our students and young people to draw strength from relationship, from relationship with one another, with God, and with the Church, the world can also see it as a source of joy and hope.”
"The real value of a Catholic education is that it offers a broad and expansive vision of education rooted in the dignity of the human person as a being in relation to the created world, other human beings, and God,” said Fr. March. “Our students share in joy together and share in the hope that was Jesus.’”
For more information, to donate via phone, or to schedule a tour of Holy Savior, call (207) 364-2528. To donate online, click here.