As with most people working from home, my day has been consumed by video conferencing. I have learned the intricacies of using Zoom, Google Hangouts and WebEx to conduct business and to stay connected with family and friends. I must admit I really like jumping out of bed, throwing on comfortable clothes, grabbing a cup of coffee and beginning the day without fighting traffic. I do miss seeing and interacting with faculty and students and even miss the occasional eye rolling when I greet our school community each morning.
We are planning to open in September 2020. To that regard, we have been busy purchasing “safety” materials recommended by the CDC and we have been engaging stakeholders for their programming recommendations, in the event that we have to adapt out program to meet new realities. We are confident we will manage these issues as we have always done through intensive collaboration and community involvement. I only hope we can continue offering dry specialized learning experiences such as the one we created to complete this school semester - digital instruction.
How do we measure success at MSA? Currently, 90% of our students attend classes on a daily basis and we attribute that accomplishment to the school-based decisions we have made to ensure success for all. Additionally, (after we selected a preferred digital platform), we allotted time and treasure towards training teachers, students and parents about digital learning and the opportunities that exist for individualization and project-based instruction when that dimension is introduced.
Our teachers used their newly developed skills to prepare lessons for the digital platform. We decided as a group to work within a theme and create project-based assignments . Our initial activity involved exploring the City of Philadelphia, with its historical sites, fabulous eating establishments and interesting murals that depict our city’s rich beginnings and current areas of focus. The students “visited” the Reading Terminal to find the best cheese steak in town, marveled at the different types of architecture and created a travel brochure as a culminating activity.
As they worked through their lessons, our students exuded an excitement and curiosity about their hometown studies. I know they are looking forward to the time when their virtual tour can become a real life happening.
This is an example of how we instructed our students despite the limitations placed upon us by COVID -19. We built upon their existing skill set to make their time at home educational and life enhancing.
We are currently accepting applications of enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year. You may contact us to receive a copy of our application.
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We look forward to being with you in September when we are a community once again, ready to use the skills we have already mastered to achieve even more.
Stay Strong. Stay Safe.