CONTINUATION OF LEARNING DURING EXTRAORDINARY TIMES
The goal of Saint Philomena School Distance Learning Plan is to provide a continuation of learning for students while mindful of the unprecedented challenges that we face during this public health crisis. We are drawing on the gifts and talents of every faculty and staff member to help us achieve the following:
Support our students and parents as educational and faith leaders.
Provide, to the best of our abilities, a continuation of learning activities and experiences that support educational engagement and development.
Engage students, colleagues and parents by using digital tools.
Acknowledge the central need for flexibility, reducing stress, and creatively honoring the diversity of obstacles and limitations that may exist at this moment including wellness issues, lack of student ability to access materials or print packets, or even connect to the internet or a particular platform.
As a community of faith dedicated to the whole child, we are also deeply aware that this crisis has many physical, emotional, and mental health components that need to be appreciated in this unique and nonregular continuation of the learning plan. Every educator will realign previous demands and expectations against a landscape of new and ever evolving realities. We want to help our students continue to find new and creative ways to grow through this moment with courage and confidence. May they continue to discover, develop and use their gifts and talents that will transform our world for good.
COMPONENTS OF OUR DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN
Weekly Communication For Continuation of Learning
Students/parents will receive the assignments for the entire week at the start of the week from their teacher, either through the teacher directly or posted to Google classrooms (upper grades). We understand the need for flexibility during this time so students and parents can define a schedule for engaging that works alongside burdens of home/work life and availability.
Live Instructional Engagements
Using the Zoom Platform (www.zoom.us) students across every grade level have the opportunity to participate in real time classes in the digital zoom classroom. Teachers will use this time to engage children in regular daily routines, instruct concepts detailed in the weekly plan, and/or conduct class discussions around the week's topic or ongoing work.
Recorded Posted Engagements
Faculty will also inform students of posted engagements and recorded lessons that will be shared with students/families via Youtube links or on Google classroom (upper grades).
ZOOM at Night
Our teachers will inform parents of Zoom at Night, once weekly events where parents can at various grade levels can log on with teachers to communicate, stay connected, and share wisdom and community during this unique time.
Co-curricular and “Go the Distance” Engagements
During week one, co-curricular teachers may post recorded engagements on their class portal for students and families to engage when convenient. Co-curriculars will start up during week two with live engagement opportunities that will be shared via a schedule for the week. In addition to co-curricular teachers, other teaching assistants and staff will be offering creative engagement opportunities via the Zoom Digital Classroom such as live storytime, cooking class, creative expression, etc.
“GO THE DISTANCE” Challenge Academy in Visual Arts, Physical Education, Performing Arts, Literature and Community Service
Starting week two, Saint Philomena School will inaugurate the Go the Distance Challenge Academy as our new incentivized PS-8 personalized learning program to engage students in setting and accomplishing long-term action goals in five different areas: visual arts, physical education, performing arts, literature and community service.
Creatively capitalizing on this unique educational moment, our co-curricular teachers will be establishing a grade level appropriate “menu” of challenges such as developing and committing to a daily workout routine for a specific period of time, writing and illustrating an original children’s book, creating and completing a community service project, writing, performing and recording original songs, making a stop motion movie, inventing something that transforms “the world for good,” or creating a masterpiece, to name just a few. We want our kids thinking out of the box!
These authentic and ongoing projects will help children develop the attitude of perseverance and create daily routines to work on long-term project goals outside of the scheduled day. Students can earn a “Go the Distance” Challenge Academy Pin for each subject in which they complete a project. With the opportunity for guided mentorship from our “Challenge Coaches” of co-curricular teachers and student life staff, students will have the opportunity to check in during Zoom classroom time to share progress, seek feedback, or recieve motivation to keep going the distance toward completing the project. When completed, students share with their challenge coach to earn a Challenge Pin. Collect all five pins (or more) in each category and a student will receive a certificate of graduation from the 2020 Go the Distance Challenge Academy at Saint Philomena School. Now is the time to Go the Distance and utilize the time we have to stretch ourselves, try new things and accomplish personal goals. Let’s discover, develop and use our talents to transform the world for good!
COMPONENTS OF OUR SCHEDULE
We understand under these extraordinary circumstances that parent work schedules, balancing needs of multiple children at home, complications with digital technology, and/or health and wellness issues, that it may not be possible for every child to engage with every offering of the Distance Learning Plan. We want to reassure every family that students will not be penalized for what they cannot do during this time and we will work with families as needs arise to do the best we can together.
Our daily schedule aims to create a routine to engage students, keep them connected to teachers and peers and assist in their continuation of learning. We also want to balance appropriate digital device time with important personal health and wellness behaviors.
Aspects of the schedule that are outlined include:
Circle time and learning activities
Our youngest friends will continue to engage with live daily routines and continuation of learning activities to support children at home and connect them with their teacher.
Scheduled class time for core subjects
K-8 students will engage in core subject area classes that support student learning on topics of the week
Free choice: Co-curricular classes and Go The Distance Engagements
A list of live engagements co-curricular classes and check in opportunities with Go The Distance coaches will be sent out week two. Families and students may, in place of or in addition to those scheduled engagements, choose to view recorded engagements at a time that works best for the family. Students may also use this time to seek out self-selected activities from our Go The Distance Digital Links Library if they choose.
Students in grades K-2 will be assigned small group days (if parents choose for their child) where teachers will work with those more intimate number of students on targeted goals for continuation of learning.
Guided Learning time in grades 3-8 is an opportunity for students to get extra help or check in with our teachers who will all be in their Zoom Digital Classrooms for student support.
Friday is scheduled as a pastoral day as we start the distance learning plan for students to engage with whatever is most appropriate to: complete assignments, work on Go the Distance Projects, utilize the digital library resources, have family time, learn through play or explore the outdoors.
This day is also important for teachers to record lessons, develop new competencies to assist students digitally and be available for any planning that may necessitate changes to our plan in these early stages.
NOTE to 7th and 8th Grade Students:Students may notice on their schedule a block that only lists one class. In order for the schedule to work with teacher schedules, two classes are not backed up to each other and are scheduled at two different times individually. If your class is not scheduled in a particular block that is a “free period.”
ADMINISTRATION, FACULTY AND STAFF AVAILABILITY
Administration, Faculty and Staff members are available Monday-Friday 9 AM to 2 PM by email, when not scheduled for digital classes or meeting with students, parents, or colleagues remotely. Teachers may also utilize times before and after the school day as was traditional for meetings and extra help between 8 and 4 PM.
SLOW STEPS FORWARD TOGETHER
This is a new and unexpected challenge for all of us at Saint Philomena School as it is for all our families. Our hope is to be in school as soon as it is possible, safe and appropriate. We continue to take our guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Governor and in consultation with the Diocese of Providence Catholic School Office. Our first week is designed to accommodate a test to the system as we learn how all will function when most of our nation has moved to a distance learning model to combat Covid-19. We are also mindful of the unique learning curve to move an entire elementary and middle school “online.” We will learn, grow and adjust to these challenges each week with our singular goal of supporting our students and helping them thrive in these very difficult days. We look to our parents as partners in supporting children as they are schooled at home. While nothing replaces or substitutes the experiences of children growing and learning on Cory’s Lane, we seek a way forward together. We ask for your patience, support and companionship during these days ahead. We are all here with your children and family.