Learning in the Remote Classroom
Our Fully Remote Schedule
Our fully remote schedule allows us to maintain the most important features of our hybrid schedule design, including prioritizing student access to teachers as well as a predictable and meaningful weekly routine, while also adapting to the remote setting. Keeping best practices of remote instruction in mind and based on feedback that we received from teachers, students, and families on the Spring 2020 remote schedule, please note the following important features of our fully remote schedule:
- 8:45-9:00 AM is a flexible community time, used for advisory, teacher check-ins across divisions. Each division will utilize this time to create meaningful connections best suited for each grade level. In Middle School the first 15 minutes of the day is devoted to a daily advisory check in, while Upper School students will use this time to connect with advisors, coordinators, counselors, learning support, and college advising.
- Academic classes will take place five days a week and begin at 9:00 AM.
- Remote classes are 60 minutes in length and will include a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous work. Students will have a minimum of 20-30 minutes of synchronous class time each week during their designated blocks. Synchronous and asynchronous coursework expectations will be communicated weekly by teachers to students through Schoology.
- Students will have daily times to connect with teachers for instructional support during Flex and Conferencing Times.
- Flex Time will be used at the discretion of the teacher to meet individual and group student learning needs for specific classes.
- Conferencing Time is an essential time for teachers to provide coaching and guidance for students around content and Schoology-specific course support in order to help students meet their learning goals. Students may also use Conferencing Time to meet with peers, coordinators, counselors, learning support, and college advising.
5. As it is during our regular, on-campus school day, lunch is an intentional time for students to engage socially. Our Advisory, Clubs, Affinity Groups, and other
extracurricular activities will take place each day during lunch from 11:45-12:30 PM.
Our Approach to Remote and Hybrid Teaching and Learning
As we approach the 2020-21 school year our primary goal is to provide learning experiences that are meaningful, engaging, and consistent for our students in every scenario of on-campus, remote, and hybrid learning environments. We are committed to delivering our academic program with our characteristic imperatives to Prepare Students for College and Life and to Know the Kid. Especially in the remote setting, we know that clarity of academic expectations, availability for instructional support, and access to teachers and adult mentors, are critical for students to experience scholastic success and emotional well being. Through our Culture of Performance and Inclusive Community principles we affirm our commitment to support each student in growing their skills and deepening their talents.
Lessons learned from the spring trimester coupled with required participation in asynchronous and synchronous training in six key areas - we call them “Hubs” - have shaped our approach to fully remote and hybrid teaching. Hubs include professional development in the areas of: Active Student Engagement, Diverse Learning Profiles, Assessment and Feedback, Intentional Pacing and Layout, Technology Efficiency and Effectiveness, and Culture of Performance.
Teachers have been working hard throughout the summer to adapt instruction, lesson plans, and assessment strategies in order to design and build the clear learning objectives and student engagement practices that will maintain and reinforce the integrity of our courses. Each Hub contains explicit guidance for teachers around how to improve instruction and design learning experiences that are researched-supported and student-centered for hybrid learning. Given what we know of best practices for online learning, teachers have been designing lessons to include both synchronous and asynchronous components, with live and self-paced elements each week. We know that when it comes to student engagement and learning, relationships online matter as much as, if not more than, in person. Students will gather for synchronous learning times via Zoom for 1:1 teacher support or small group work during Conferencing or Flex times. Every teacher will have an expectation for synchronous check-ins with students and be available to provide support.
Our Approach to the Remote and Hybrid Student Experience
In all of our summer planning, we have taken into consideration the lived experiences of our students grades 6-12. We took our learning from the spring trimester, imagined our new students entering into school, listened to community feedback, and heard from our versatile faculty. We know that the most important element for success in a hybrid or fully remote schedule is student access to teachers and intentional design and build of curriculum.
We are applying two key principles to our remote (and hybrid) student experiences this fall:
We will preserve learning.
- Synchronous experiences will be meaningful and purposeful. Class time will promote active student learning; our synchronous instruction is designed to be student-centered, reflecting student progress and growth. We will strive to provide opportunities for student collaboration, connection, and real-world application.
- Asynchronous learning experiences will be differentiated, challenging, and creative. The instruction for our students will be adjusted when possible based on unique student needs.
- Students will have regular and predictable access to teacher support outside of class time through Flex Time and Conferencing Time.
Flex Time is a flexible time for students and teachers to connect based on daily learning needs. Flex Time might be used for 1:1 meetings, extra time for assignments, to complete an at-home lab, or group project work. Flex Time can be designed to meet the needs of a particular lesson, class, unit or project.
Conferencing Time is an intentional, dedicated time for students to meet with adult mentors, ask questions of their teachers, and receive support. Students should expect to engage in Conferencing with faculty daily in order to facilitate their learning. We know that students need facilitators and mentors to connect with regularly, especially during remote learning. Conferencing Time provides students with access to an adult who can help with technology concerns, focus their attention, and receive help when needed.
We will build community.
We are eager to approach the upcoming school year with flexibility, understanding, and high expectations for what we are able to accomplish inside and outside of the classroom. We are taking special care to create peer and adult connections, innovating and amplifying existing community structures to build student-to-student and faculty-student relationships. Whether through 1:1 or full group advisory meetings, clubs and affinity groups, class meetings, special events like social lunches, advisory paired activities, movie watch parties, talent shows, and more, students and families can count on SAAS to foster a sense of belonging and community.
Our fully remote schedule maximizes teacher-student interaction and provides daily opportunities for peer social engagement. We will continue to work with students to facilitate participation in those activities that most ignite their interests. Our adapted remote learning strategies and community building events will allow us to meet the academic and social needs of our students and set them up for success in the new school year.