Cathedral High dedicates new Applied Learning Center

BOSTON -- Cathedral High School (CHS) in Boston's South End, unveiled its new Applied Learning Center at a ceremony Sept. 4. The new development furthers the school's definitive focus on college readiness, leadership, and service by providing its students with the tools for 21st century learning.

Cathedral launched its $8 million capital campaign in September 2016 and broke ground in April 2017 to construct the 15,000 square foot Applied Learning Center, adjacent to the existing school. The center incorporates new programs centered on STEAM-based learning: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The center includes a design-based learning maker space lab, complete with a state-of-the-art Autodesk 3-D printer, an area dedicated to arts and cultural activities, as well as seven additional collaborative learning spaces to meet the demands of growing enrollment. With the addition of these specialized programs and learning spaces, students are given the opportunity to study modern subjects including robotics, coding, graphic design, engineering, as well as an expanded arts program that includes music and theater.

Guest lecturers will also be featured as part of the curriculum periodically; for example, Life Is Good CEO John Jacobs is anticipated to visit and speak about leadership skills and corporate messaging.

While Cathedraal High has long held partnerships with local organizations as a way to further enlighten its students, it most recently connected with Northeastern University and its Network of Experiential Learning Teachers (NExT) program.

The partnership is the first of its kind for Cathedral and benefits both students and teachers through the model of experiential learning. Faculty from the university's College of Professional Studies' Graduate School of Education will partner with Cathedral High staff to design and integrate project-based learning curriculum in the classroom. Students will also benefit from the program as they are offered hands-on experiences, internships and certificate-based learning at the high school level, preparing them for the next steps in their lives and careers after graduation.

"Our world is changing, and the way we think about jobs, education, and technology is evolving," said Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of Cathedral High School. ''We are finding that innovative facilities and cutting-edge courses are quickly becoming the norm in education. We want to empower our students to become well-rounded individuals and face the world as our next generation of critical thinkers and innovators. While our school is growing, we stay true to our founding principles and our emphasis on the success of each individual student. We are excited to welcome our school community to utilize and benefit from the new Applied Learning Center."

Cathedral High expressed its gratitude to the donors who made this project possible.

The institution continues its 90-plus year history of providing the highest educational opportunities to its scholars and today serves more than 320 students from all walks of life across the city. Creating a rigorous program of academics for grades seven through 12 and offering small class sizes, the school is committed to upholding a safe and supportive environment where each student is encouraged to work towards their full potential. Cathedral can proudly say that for 15 consecutive years, 100 percent of its seniors have graduated, and 100 percent have earned college admission.