Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS)
The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education
With sponsorship from
The National Catholic Educational Association
Purpose Statement: TWIN-CS will support the work of Catholic schools nationally, to reconnect with their history of serving cultural and linguistic diversity by innovatively embracing school based Two-Way Immersion programs to serve these populations today.
Project Overview: In recent decades Catholic schools’ service of culturally and linguistically diverse populations has waned considerably, particularly with regard to Hispanic populations. Both public and private schools consistently underserve culturally and linguistically diverse students, whose population is growing rapidly in the United States. Expanding educational opportunities for these students is a moral imperative as well as a sound investment in economic and social vitality. The Roche Center for Catholic Education, Boston College, and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) have addressed this need by creating a sustainable model for the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN–CS).
The mission and vision of the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools is threefold.
1. TWIN-CS will grow and enhance the strong Catholic tradition of academic excellence by establishing a network of Two-Way Immersion Catholic schools providing high quality education to culturally and linguistically diverse students.
2. Cultivating bilingualism and biliteracy, TWIN schools will enhance their commitment to Catholic education’s defining characteristics of accessibility and social justice, which uphold the dignity of all persons, promote deep respect for all cultures, and ensure attainable Catholic education for all families.
3. Catholic schools are shaped by communion and community and are known for their capacity to foster trust, caring relationships, and strong interpersonal connections. TWIN schools will be genuinely inclusive school environments—for all students and for parents, teachers, and staff—where lifelong learning around diversity is modeled and celebrated.
At the fundamental level TWIN-CS is designed to benefit the most important constituents, the students of Catholic schools, the children served on a daily basis.
Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools Development Timeline
The TWIN-CS support architecture was designed during the 2012 – 2013 academic year. The design team consists of three scholars with expertise in the areas of Catholic education, bilingual education, and organizational learning, as well as a practitioner who has demonstrated expertise in teaching and leading TWI schools. An advisory board comprised of national experts in these same areas assists this design team. During this year, the design team has also worked with TWI models and designed recommended school models for participating teams, and worked on developing research assessment strategies with graduate student support. Concurrently, participating teams have had an eight-month period to assess their school culture, readiness and resource needs, and plan for challenges that may arise. School communities have undergone a school-wide assessment before the adoption and implementation of any programs, and directed graduate student research assistants from Boston College supported the design of assessment methodologies and assisted in determining what was assessed in each school’s baseline state. Concurrent with this work has been the initial establishment of a working network for all participating schools.
During a 5-day Innovation Academy hosted by Boston College, all TWIN school teams will work together as a cohort in intensive training. Teams from each school will be required to participate, and will include the principal, and at least 2 faculty, 1-2 board members, or others when appropriate. The Innovation Academy will be directed by the design team, with support from the advisory board members.
On the coming years, the TWIN schools will receive ongoing support from regional coaches. They will also participate in professional development to facilitate ongoing learning from one another. School teams will be coached to improve their design, engage in continuous improvement and assessment, and evaluate their work with a focus on learning outcomes. This will guarantee their ability to make genuine, in-depth change as a school community, and to understand how to replicate with adaptation in the following years.
Coaches and mentors will support the establishment of the network and it will participate in this self-monitoring mentoring community. This network will become the professional support community for these schools and eventually other schools. It will be robust and utilize the worldwide opportunities for collaboration and support inherent in the vast advantages established technologies currently provide and future discoveries will provide.
In addition, the research and work of the participating schools will be shared as case studies for other Catholic schools nation-wide. Analysis of program adoption processes and program assessments both before and after the national rollout will provide for the transmission of proven best practices leading to others seeking to adopt this model and join the network.
Best Practices in Collaboration: Innovation Institute Context
The Innovation Institute for Catholic Educators (IICE) is premised on a multi-year, research based model in which innovative programs for K-12 education are adopted for implementation and researched in nationally selected Catholic schools. This model facilitates the design and delivery of educational innovations for study and adoption, and it generates support to sustain school cultures rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition of academic excellence in curriculum, leadership, and student outcomes.