“Our doors may be closed, but Doane Stuart is open,” Head of School Cecil Stodghill said to parents, students, and faculty on the day schools closed in New York State. Hours earlier, the faculty, staff, and students, were primed on Google classroom. A crash course in “learning from home”. A Powerpoint at a morning meeting with hints, tips, and tricks to remind everyone of what to do when they powered up their electronics the next day without an IT guru beside them. But who were we kidding, kids these days are literally walking IT gurus.
Within hours of going live, photos began to come in from parents. Their kids on their work stations, doing course work, on their screens … their teachers, motivated and ready to present the day’s lessons.
Classes never skipped a beat. Every day class is in session from 8:15 to 3:25, just like a regular school day! Parents and faculty immediately began messaging how great the virtual classroom system was working in their homes and for their students.
“Juliet is in second grade. Brittany Garrison has created awesome daily schedules for the kids to do. Juliet was so excited to see her friends and teacher.”
“We are so blessed the virtual classroom launched so quickly and effectively.”
“I am so proud of my 4th graders. They are showing they’re leaders of the Lower School by having class online, just like Middle and Upper school!”
While the students may not be sitting next to one another, they are still learning right next to one another. Over 65 classes per week are being taught virtually by Doane Stuart faculty. From our fourth-grade students, all the way through to our seniors are showing up every day to do the work. Even our little ones have work scheduled and a reading time scheduled to tune in and see their teachers, and classmates. There is no class left behind. Even the labs continue!
Mr. Pickett is successfully holding his labs, virtually! “I had them sign out thermometers to take home. They did a lab that just involved heating up water and measuring the temperature every minute. They used the time and the wattage of their stove to calculate heat absorbed and graph it against the temperature. They should have been able to calculate the specific heat of water from the slope of the linear trendline. I looked in each of their shared spreadsheet files to check in on what they were doing in terms of data collection and graph-making.”
These are times where being able to adapt is crucial. Tweaks and tries and trial and error reign over normalcy and routine. And we are so proud of our families. They have not just adapted to the changes they were given, they have thrived.
“I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by our parents, and the motivation to assume this “academic continuity” by our students,” said Mr. Stodghill when asked how things were going a week into the “school from home” process. We are all working together to create a safe, inspiring, and educational experience for every one of our students and their families.