On Tuesday, March 31, our K-12 students will begin at-home learning due to safety measures associated with preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This distance learning will continue at least through April 13 and likely longer.
Distance Learning Curricula
Before considering how our distance learning program will be delivered, we addressed the question of what we will teach during this unprecedented situation. The following bullet points describe our plan for distance learning curricula:
- REVIEW. Our teachers will first focus on reviewing concepts and skills that have already been taught. Our logic is that teachers, students, and parents will need an adjustment period to distance learning, so we at least want course content to be familiar. Additionally, by the time we start our distance learning program, our students will have been out of the classroom for a little over two weeks, so reviewing is an appropriate and needed approach for that reason, too.
- CORE OBJECTIVES. Our teachers will target the most essential concepts and skills necessary for students to be academically prepared for the next grade or sequential course. Not all learning objectives are as essential as others, so we will prioritize the most important ones. The number of core objectives vary by grade level and by subject.
- ENRICHMENT. Teachers often have to sacrifice going in depth in certain topics due to the wide breadth of the content in some courses. This time of distance learning could be conducive for teachers to direct students into greater depths of topics that could result in deeper learning for students.
For week one of distance learning, we will only focus on core courses; we will not have assignments for electives or elementary enrichment courses. The rationale for this decision is to ease into distance learning and reduce the possibility of students, parents, and teachers being overwhelmed.
Distance Teaching & Learning Strategies
How our teachers will teach remotely will vary by grade levels and by subject areas. The following bullet points address our approaches to course delivery:
- ClassTag. While many elementary teachers use ClassTag to communicate with parents, our kindergarten teachers will use this service as their primary tool to communicate information concerning their classes’ distance learning.
- Google Classroom. Teachers of students in grades 1-12 will use Google Classroom as their primary tool to communicate concerning distance learning. All students in grades 1-12 have been issued a Berean Academy Google G-Suite account, which will be the mechanism to log into their teachers’ Google Classrooms.
- If you have not received your Berean Google account credentials, please contact your homeroom teacher for that information.
- Here is a link to a YouTube video to introduce Google Classroom to parents.
- Asynchronous v. Synchronous. We have chosen to provide our distance learning program in a mostly asynchronous format. We realize that home circumstances vary, and we cannot assume all of our students will be able to engage in a live setting with their teachers. So, essential text-based, audio-based, video-based, etc., communication from teachers will be available in an on-demand platform for students.
- Live Communication. Teachers will have times set to communicate in a live format with students. In some situations, students will have the option of participating in live video conferencing, but these students will also have the option to view a recording of the conference. In other scenarios, teachers will schedule times to meet with students individually or in small groups via video conferencing. To prepare for video conferencing, we encourage parents to download apps associated with Zoom and Google Meet.
Our accrediting agency has directed us to have a tool in place to record student attendance. How teachers execute this directive may vary; individual teachers will communicate their method of attendance tracking to students and parents.
When students are involved with live video conferencing, they are to dress modestly and have no visual or auditory distractions.
Preschool teachers will be in contact with parents of preschool students to share distance learning activities. Participation in these activities is optional.