Archdiocese of Chicago Invests $575,000 in Innovative Blended Learning Program

 The South Side School is Joining the Seton Blended Learning Network in the 2016-2017 School Year

Chicago, IL (July 5, 2016) – Beginning this upcoming school year, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Immaculate Conception School, located at 8739 South Exchange Avenue in Chicago, will join 12 other schools nationwide as part of Seton Education Partners’ Blended Learning Network. Through the network, Immaculate Conception School will institute a blended learning model, which combines computer-based instruction and traditional classroom learning. The program is being seeded with an which covers the cost of new computer equipment and software, and provides the school with an on-site program administrator for the next two years who will train and assist teachers and faculty in implementing the blending learning model in their classrooms. After the first two years, the school will be prepared to independently implement and manage the program with Seton providing continual support in best practices and management.

“This investment is a sign of our commitment to innovation, twenty-first century learning and strategic partnerships,” said Jim Rigg, Ph.D., Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Seton Education Partners and know this program will dramatically affect the learning of the students currently at the school, and those who come in future years. The Archdiocese is proud to work with many organizations on behalf of our schools, such as the Big Shoulders Fund which dedicates wonderful resources to our schools every year.”

Immaculate Conception School operated from 1882 to 1982, and then closed for 10 years due to changes in the needs of the community. In 1992, the school was reopened under the leadership of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate of Guadalupe who staff the school together with lay faculty members. Today, the school serves a primarily Hispanic, academically at-risk and economically challenged student community.
Immaculate Conception School was selected for this program based on its leadership, dedicated parish community and the school’s opportunity for growth.

Through the blending learning program, Immaculate Conception students will rotate between personalized instruction on computers and small-group instruction with teachers. Teachers will use the data obtained through students’ computer work to identify areas of need and target instruction to those individual student needs.

“Immaculate Conception School is very excited about partnering with Seton Group,” said Sister Katia Alcantar, HMIG, Principal of Immaculate Conception School. “We want to provide our students the opportunity to develop their skills while respecting their own pace and pushing them forward. Through this new program, we will promote a more positive children-teacher interaction resulting in deeper relationships,as well as continue to promote good character, a hallmark of a great Catholic education.”

The Seton Blended Learning Network currently serves 3,200 students who are collectively 98 percent minority and more than two-thirds below the poverty line. Seton provides partner schools with the training required to convert to blended learning. Students in Seton’s partnering schools are academically growing 1.5 times faster than the national average in math and 1.4 times faster in reading. The partnering schools are also seeing a collective 33 percent increase in enrollment.

“We are especially excited to work with the Archdiocese of Chicago,in part because of the leadership of Archbishop Cupich and
Superintendent Rigg, who both have a clear heart for the poor and see the importance of innovating in Catholic education, and in part because of the forward-thinking business leadership in Chicago that is imagining a new way forward for urban Catholic schools,” said Stephanie Saroki de Garcia, Managing Director of Seton Education Partners.

To learn more about the Seton Blended Learning Network, visit

About Seton Education Partners
Seton Education Partners is a non-profit committed to reviving and expanding opportunities for disadvantaged children in America to receive an academically excellent and vibrantly Catholic education. Seton was born of the belief that a tremendous opportunity exists to revitalize urban Catholic schools in America and strengthen the education they provide. The challenges are significant, to be sure, but with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, much can and should be done, not only to preserve this national treasure, but also to build on its foundation for the benefit of thousands of children in America’s.

About the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools
The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools serves more than 79,000 students in 229 schools in Cook and Lake Counties. It is the largest private school system in the United States and the recipient of the greatest number of U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards of any school system. In July 2015, all Archdiocesan elementary and secondary schools were successfully accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

About the Archdiocese of Chicago
The Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest in the United States,serves more than 2.2 million Catholics in 347 parishes in Cook and Lake Counties, a geographic area of 1,411 square miles. The Archdiocese, pastored by Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, has more than 15,000 employeesin its systems and ministries, including Catholic Charities, the region’s largest nonprofit social service agency. The Archdiocese also has one of the country’s largest seminaries. The Archdiocese’s 229 elementary and secondary schools comprise the largest U.S. private school system and have garnered more U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards than any system of any type.