Agents of Change

St Therese’s preparedness in the face of challenges posed by COVID-19 is the result of four years of dedicated work and culture change. McKinnon recalls the serious challenges she faced in 2016. “We knew we had to shift the culture of our school,” she says. “Many of our students weren’t engaged in their learning.

“We identified that technology could be an accelerator for the change that was needed to foster a learning community focused on excellence, and ensuring access for all,” McKinnon continues. “I’ve been in classrooms for 30 years — a tool is only as good as the teacher using it, so professional development for our teachers was also critical to any change we sought.”

The St Therese leadership team rolled out iPad to all students and staff (K-6), and installed Apple TV in every classroom. Every educator completed the free Apple Teacher professional learning program, developing the skills to effectively integrate iPad into classroom activities and create deeply engaging experiences to unlock student achievement.

“Four years on, we’re seeing the success of our efforts: Our students and staff want to be here,” says McKinnon. “Every educator at St Therese is an agent for equity. Ensuring our students have access to learning is our top priority. All of our students have a voice in creating and sharing their learning, and iPad is an essential tool that supports that.”

Enrollments and applications for staff recruitment are up, and student attendance, engagement, and individual learning outcomes are increasing. St Therese Primary School was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School in 2019.

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