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March 16th was our first day of live online schooling, after closing for only one day. Our small groups and 1-1 classes missed only one day of instruction, shifting quickly to an online model. Students continued to meet together, live with teachers and their classmates during their scheduled times. All the while our tech team worked to ensure both our teachers and our families were able to connect virtually.
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Since then, we’ve learned a great deal about online learning and have been refining it as we go. Our commitment to each student’s success drives us to make changes to schedules, learning goals, and level of support for each and every student to ensure their best possible learning experience.
We made some minor changes—dividing larger groups into small ones and changing some students who found online groups difficult to 1-1. We found younger students need shorter classes and more limits on screen time and adjusted as needed. We’ve worked hard to continue to meet students’ needs while keeping as much consistency as possible in the process. Our primary goals are for students to stay connected with teachers and friends, and continue to be engaged and make progress in their classes.
Looking Ahead to Fall 2020
Our decisions are influenced by...
communication we receive from the governor, superintendent of schools, the Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and our participation in a task force for independent schools. We are constantly looking at what’s happening around the world, considering solutions that others have developed for on-site learning, and thinking of how they might apply to our environment.
There is a good deal of indication that at least some portion of the next school year will be spent online, so we are preparing for that scenario. We have decided to schedule students for fall in a way that allows us to accommodate whatever changes the year may bring. By scheduling for online school (around the more extreme scenario), we will be in a better position for responding to changing regulations and the many iterations of what school looks like that may follow.
It won’t be an “open or closed” scenario...
but will likely involve some slower implementation of different opportunities over time. As regulations and recommendations change, we’ll be able to modify schedules and return to campus.
The online schedule will be the backbone...
to help ensure the consistency of each child’s teaching team throughout the year and make sure their academic needs are met, no matter what platform we offer. We will continue to offer group classes wherever they are feasible.
We're preparing a backup, in-person schedule...
for when we can return to campus. For example, for some larger group classes, we will schedule smaller groups or individual appointments back-to-back during the group time while we are online. When we return to campus, we will combine those small groups to create the larger group experience.
Our number one goal...
is to ensure that when we do get back to the buildings, it’s not just about being physically present, but about creating positive, meaningful experiences for students. We miss our students and are excited to get to teach in-person again! As soon as we can do it safely, we will.
Call to schedule a virtual interview!