Saint Therese is the Madrona neighborhood’s Catholic church on 35th between Spring and Marion. There are several other Catholic churches in the area including St. Joe’s on Capitol Hill, Immaculate Conception up between 18th and 19th and St. Mary’s over by Washington Middle School. Because of the close proximity (among other reasons), St. Therese is now sharing their priest with Immaculate Conception; therefore, the Mass schedule is changing on Sundays so the priest can be present at both churches. Starting on Sunday, February 17th, mass at St. Therese will be at 8:30 AM, noon and 5 PM.
According to an article in the Seattle Times, St. Therese Catholic School in the Madrona neighborhood has made great changes to their program. Up until two years ago, St. Therese found the number of students dwindling. Enrollment was down to about 90 students, just about 10 in each class. As expenses continued to grow, closure seemed to be the only option. Leaders of the school wasted no time and begun to make changes in order to draw more attendance. They worked very hard making numerous phone calls, hanging up fliers, and adding a Pre-Kindergarten class to the school. Most importantly St.Therese is attracting family with their emphasis on computer instruction. Students are spending 30%-50% of the day on laptops, where their progress can be tracked. Because of the many changes they made, their attendance has nearly doubled to 173 students.
With $433,000 in grants to date, $300,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, St. Therese is the second Catholic school in the nation that practices a blended-learning model, computer-based learned as well as traditional classroom style learning. Similar efforts are being put underway at Holy Rosary in Tacoma, where they are also hoping to adopt a Spanish-speaking program to attract more Catholic Latino families.
With the help the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, St. Therese has 190 laptops which is enough for each student in grades 4-8, and one for every 2 students in K-3. These laptops replaced 25 computers that were outdated, now students can feel proud of what they are using and accomplishing.
This past Sunday was the last for Father Stephen Okumu (pictured) as St. Therese Pastor. Father Stephen, as most parishioners call him, has been with St. Therese for the last five years. He is leaving to become the Pastor of St. Bridget’s in Laurelhurst.
Father Charles Kanai has come to Madrona to replaced Father Stephen and Father Kanai is assisted by Deacon Greg McNabb who has been with St. Therese for the last several years. Both Father Charles Kanai and Deacon Greg will also serve Immaculate Conception located in the Seattle Central District. While no changes in mass times are expected in the immediate future, changes may occur down the road since both Catholic Churches have the same mass schedule. In the interim, guest priests will assist to keep the current mass schedule.
Saint Therese Catholic School, soon to be known as St. Therese Catholic Academy, would like to invite you to a community event the school is holding at their Madrona campus on Sunday, May 20, from noon to 3 PM to celebrate a new era in education and to thank the community for their support.
As I wrote back in March, Saint Therese Catholic School recently received a $500,000 grant funded in large part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is undergoing a significant transformation, becoming the first blended technology Catholic school in the Northwest. This cutting-edge learning model will provide Seattle families, regardless of their income, an excellent preschool through 8th-grade education that ignites the minds, dreams, and faith of their children. To learn more about St. Therese’s transformation, check out their new website as well as come to the event this weekend in Madrona.
Congratulations to St. Therese School located on 35th Avenue in Madrona. The local Catholic school just received word that they were awarded over a half million dollar grant to implement a program where teachers and students use technology in the classroom to improve learning. The grant to implement the new program came from at least in part from Fulcrum Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Again, congratulations to St Therese and the Madrona neighborhood.
St. Therese Catholic Schools Week Open House is tomorrow, Sunday, January 29th from 12 to 2 pm. All classrooms will be open and all faculty will be available for questions. Come see what see what the spirit of Saint Therese School is all about.
St. Therese is located just a block from Madrona Playground and the Madrona Business District at 900 35th Avenue.