Woodward Academy is committed to providing an effective education for students during a school closure in both the short- and long-term. Our Remote Learning Plan describes our approach to distance learning, the channels we use for communication, the technology systems employed by each school, and resources for parents.
Our Primary School students are required to complete a reading, math, and writing assignment daily. Enrichment activities from P.E, Spanish, Science, S.T.E.A.M, visual art, and performing arts are included for families and students that would like extra challenges or feel passionately about those subjects. All of the teachers, administrators, and families are connected. Making digital communication a personalized experience is now the norm for our school.
Seesaw and Zoom are the main technology resources we are using to foster community and collaboration for students and families. These platforms provide the connection that young students and their families need to be successful during this difficult time. However, technology can only take you so far. The deep passion teachers have for their students’ learning and their commitment to our community is making all the difference. For example, teachers are now hosting afternoon office hours and are making time for more synchronous individual or small group instruction. The sense of community that is created by our Zoom-connected morning meetings and comments on each others’ posts on Seesaw has enriched this experience beyond our expectations.
The most important factors to success for our school are community and collaboration. Being a Responsive Classroom school, we have deep relationships and connections to our students and families. That collaboration and connectedness makes us feel as if we are face-to-face with our students in our classrooms and is priceless at a time when we cannot physically be together. Our young primary students are not only learning from their individual teachers, but also from each other and our community as a whole. We collaborate, share, and work together to make remote learning a successful experience for everyone.
The Lower School has developed a Remote Learning Plan that is meeting the unique demands of our students and families during this time. We are using a mixture of methods to allow students to push forward in their academics while also being flexible and working in ways that do not put too much stress on them or their families.
We are continuing to use PowerSchool Learning as our primary place for instruction. This is where teacher lessons, student assignments, and daily announcements are being posted. Homeroom teachers are meeting with their homerooms daily, and teachers are conducting live teaching sessions through Zoom twice a week on a regular schedule. Our teachers and students are using the many components of our Google Suite for creating assignments and turning work in. For assessments our teachers are taking advantage of many resources such as Formative, Gimkit, Kahoot, and PowerSchool. The Lower School teachers are also holding regular "office hours" through Zoom which allow students to check in, ask questions, and continue to build relationships while we are having to remain distant from each other.
The Middle School is putting the health and instruction of students first. We developed a schedule that allows students to work at a steady pace and without overload. Following this schedule, teachers meet with half of their classes daily via Zoom for live instruction, check-ins, followups, and Q&A.
For synchronous instruction, teachers are using Zoom on a daily basis. For asynchronous communication, teachers are using PowerSchool Learning, email, Google Drive, and Flipgrid. For assessment, teachers are leveraging platforms like Formative, Edpuzzle, Gimkit, Kahoot, Explain Everything, and PowerSchool Learning.
The Upper School is running a synchronous remote learning model to allow teachers and students to most closely resemble the school day from home. We are on an A and B block schedule rotation, and students and teachers are live on Zoom at the start of their class times for instruction to begin, just as it would be if we were in school. Teachers are also available during the block time once their instruction is over for students to ask questions or receive personalized help, if needed. Advisors are meeting weekly with their student groups as well to check in, and our counselors are available throughout the day for individual Zoom or phone meetings.
PowerSchool Learning has been our primary tool to communicate our plans and assignments to students. Some teachers are also leveraging Google Classroom to create meaningful assignments and assessments. This provides a seamless integration with a student's Google Drive for easy submission of assignments and organization. Screencastify is being widely used across the Upper School to screencast and record lectures, discussions, and more. Go Formative, Padlet, and Flipgrid are three other popular tools that are being used to foster student collaboration and formative assessments with meaningful teacher feedback. Prior to remote learning, each department had a variety of technology tools they used to create innovative and meaningful learning experiences for students, and our students are continuing to use these tools throughout our remote learning experience.
Students at Woodward North are using a variety of tools to access lessons and interact with their teachers. Currently, all core-subject teachers are instructing synchronous/live classes via Zoom and posting assignments on PowerSchool courses and SeeSaw.
In addition to synchronous classes, core-subject and special area teachers are recording instructional videos and making screencast tutorials. All teachers also hold office hours for students and parents to address any questions. Zoom is also helping students connect to one another as Morning Meetings are being held every morning.
As we all adjust to a different routine, it is important to provide support for your children as they adapt to our remote school plan. It also is important to recognize the ways in which your children may be struggling as they miss personal, face-to-face interactions with their teachers and friends. Our team of Woodward counselors are here to help provide resources and help along the way.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
● Establish routines and expectations
● Define the physical space for your child’s study
● Monitor and help students to connect to communications from your children’s teachers
● Begin and end each day with a check-in
● Take an active role in helping your children process their learning
● Establish times for quiet and reflection
● Encourage physical activity and/or exercise
● Remain mindful of your child’s stress or worry
● Monitor how much time your child is spending online
● Allow time for children to socialize virtually, but set rules around their social media interactions
|For Questions about...||Contact|
|A piece of work, resource, learning activity, or class||The teacher of the class|
|A technology-related question or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|A personal or social concern||Your school counselor|
|Any other issues related to remote learning||Your school principal|