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Embracing the Opportunity to Shape a Better Educational Future

Embracing the Opportunity to Shape a Better Educational Future

Embracing the Opportunity to Shape a Better Educational Future

COVID-19 was most certainly and remains to be a crisis on so many fronts. Schools have had to rework and reevaluate their teaching and learning practices, as parents and students around the world have had to to adjust to working and learning from home. Through it all, we have had many new trials and tribulations. Over the last few weeks, as we all settle into our new habits and routines, we need to also appreciate the opportunities that this situation has coerced on us. Families are spending more time together, parents are becoming more involved in their children’s education and almost everyone has embraced the challenges of using technology to maintain a sense of connection and normalcy in academics, work and with our friends and loved ones.

When considering and researching which platforms to use and how to design our home learning, there were a few key factors to consider.

  • We want to establish a sense of normalcy for our students where they keep some sort of routine and are still connected to their AG community.
  • We need to resume with our students’ individual learning plans and continue to support their program goals at home.
  • Our parent community’s schedules, and resources available to them to be able to support students in their engagement in our home learning program.
  • How can we support our community through this difficult time?
  • What support do our teachers need to transition to home learning?

At the onset of this pandemic, we quickly worked with our teachers to provide our families with the routine, structure, and connection to regular school life to the best of our ability through our home learning program.Our home learning program is designed to provide asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities for all students. Our teachers worked together to prepare schedules for students with regular Circle Time and personalized activities that are shared with our parent community on a daily basis. We are keen on continuing to offer personalized learning and instruction in balance with opportunities for students to engage with their class community.

Our concept-based, transdisciplinary, inquiry-based approach to learning becomes more authentic than ever, as students engage in their learning through real life applications. Our teachers are designing activities that incorporate all content areas of their program into their everyday lives. For example, students are using language and numbers when baking, they are using their computations skills practicing how to double or half the recipe. Our students are learning independence and accountability as they learn to manage their own workspaces, engage in virtual class and discussions, and come together in circle time to celebrate and support one another’s time.

Our home learning program is devised as follows:

  • A Home Learning Handbook, diligently prepared by teachers and staff to provide parents with support and tips on setting up a learning space at home, suggested home routines and other useful resources.
  • Circle Time is scheduled daily for toddlers and three times a week for Casa students. This is a time to connect as a community and engage in class discussions, social learning activities, weekly science experiments, song and dance, and read alouds.
  • Personalized 1:1 session with students twice a week to work on core learning subjects and skills
  • Montessori material and learning tools are delivered to student homes on need basis to support their home learning activities.
  • Parent support through 1:1 session with teachers upon request.
  • Daily lessons emailed including Montessori lessons, crafts and outdoor activities
  • Additional support and activities are available for parents on our social media platforms.

In the midst of uncertainty, we choose to focus on the positive outcomes. We are confident that through this experience we will harness innovative and improved strategies for distance learning. Our new approach to education, coupled with our existing classroom teaching practices, will only help us to offer a more enriched learning program for our students.

While the path ahead of us remains uncertain, we firmly believe that we will come out of this adversity much stronger individually and as a community. We at Ashwood Glen are committed to providing a quality education and an enriching experience to all students. Our teachers are working diligently to better prepare for the new ways of living and learning, be it in school or remote. Additionally, our administrators are working remotely and are always accessible via email, phone or Zoom, should anyone need to reach out for any additional information or support.

 

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