Ursuline News

Innovation Time Grants


Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, Ursuline has offered up to three Innovation Time Grants per school year. The idea behind this is that the one commodity that is hard to come by is time, so teachers accepted into the program are given a single “release” period for the school year of their grant. Teaching one less class allows grantees to use that release time to pursue a project that will allow research and development of innovative education practices.

Applicants describe the proposed innovation, demonstrate a clear link to the UA strategic roadmap, and offer suggestions as to how the idea or project could be shared with other teachers in their department and beyond to benefit even more students. Applicants must also identify how they will evaluate their success.

Innovative Time Grants are unique to UA—it is time set aside for teachers to research and develop a particular innovative idea. The time grants focus on innovative practices, and many of these have been linked with student-centered/driven learning. The grants are great because they give faculty time to research and implement shifts in education, specifically toward a more student-driven learning model.  



English Teacher Kate Schenck
Teaching Writing with Student Wellbeing Competencies

  • Began as an exploration of what it would mean to have a competency-based learning classroom... and how to assess competency-based learning.
  • Can you explicitly teach wellness in an English classroom?
  • Explore how to make student wellness tangible and link it to instruction and assessment.
  • How has COVID-19 further reinforced the importance of resilience, empathy, self-expression, and a growth mindset in the learning process?
  • Follow her work on writing and wellness:

Theology Teacher Angela Jakubik
Best Practices in Catholic High Schools: Accompanying Students on their Journeys of Faith

  • Research Questions:
    • The first item in an Ursuline Portrait of a Graduate is that an Ursuline graduate is “a woman of faith and reflection." So, what does this look like? What might we do to foster this?
    • What could a Catholic high school theology classroom look like if the pedagogical approach shifted to faith formation and spiritual development?
    • How might we blend personalized learning approaches with best practices of sharing the Catholic faith in order to better accompany our students, meeting each girl where she is on her journey of faith?
    • This would also further Ursuline Academy’s work towards our second strategic imperative, a student-centered focus, thus helping to foster students’ values and strengthen their virtues.


English Teacher Sarette Albin
Personalized English Classroom: Book Clubs, choice

  • Implementation:
    • Infuse journaling and discussion so that all students express their ideas daily
    • Eliminate lecture-based lessons and instead rely on:
      • Small group workshops, individual conferences, and self-paced learning
    • Create book club units in which students select a text and set their reading schedule
    • Design classwork, projects, and essays so students choose the topics they explore
    • Craft a system for students to learn and apply grammar through creative writing

Math Teacher Katelyn Hayes
Building Student Agency through Self-Assessment

  • Goals: Create an environment that empowers students to deepen their learning through self-evaluation, reflection, and revision to build mathematical connections. Provide resources, time, and space for students to engage in this process, becoming more aware of their own learning. Examine individual student growth on reflections throughout the year. Students using the revision process as a stepping stone to make deeper mathematical connections will indicate successful self-reflection.


English Teacher Megan Griffin
Student Choice and Investment in their Writing

  • De-centering reading curriculum: Independent reading, book clubs, student choice in text and topic for research essay (Citizen Rhetor Project) 

Math Teacher Jules McGee
Exploring Standards-based Grading

Computer Science Teacher Eve Juarez
Building a Blended Learning Flex Model for the Ursuline Classroom