What is distance learning?
Distance learning is a term we are all becoming more familiar with daily. As the name implies, distance learning is largely online instruction that does not rely on in-person interactions, such as in a traditional classroom or tutoring situation. The purpose of moving to distance learning is to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
What does distance learning currently look like in the Upper School?
- All students in the school will have a required check-in every morning at 9:15 am. During this time, BPC faculty will review the upcoming day, make announcements, and answer questions.
- At 9:30 am, 11:00 am, 1:30 pm, and 3:00 pm, all students will have online classes with teachers. These classes are not simply a transfer of live classroom lessons to the virtual world. How the time is spent will vary, but participation in the classes is required as they are a critical part of the learning plan.
- There are hour-long periods after each class for students to complete work individually, in online chat groups, and with teachers. Many students will be able to complete assignments during this work time. This will also be an important time for students to move their bodies, get fresh air, and grab snacks.
- All grades will have advisory periods three times a week to connect and close out the school day.
- Fridays are flexible work days with the required community time that will be used to provide differentiation and support for students. We will also have Town Hall every Friday.
- Lunch times are open so that students can choose to unplug, spend time with family, or participate in virtual BPC club meetings.
What does distance learning currently look like in the Lower School?
Kindergarten through third grade will utilize Seesaw as their learning platform, while students in fourth and fifth grade will access their learning activities through Google Classroom.
How are you enabling student connection outside the academic realm?
Teachers and administrators are creating “containers of time” where students can just talk, or socialize with an adult from BPC via an online platform. In the Upper School, our scheduled advisories and weekly Town Hall meeting are helping with this. In the Lower School, there’s a weekly K-5 Monday Community Gathering and a daily morning meeting for students with the classroom teacher.
How is BPC faculty collaborating during the campus closure?
One of BPC’s great strengths is a faculty that is, not only willing, but eager, to work in concert. While collaborating in person is not possible at this time, BPC’s faculty and administration are meeting online daily to refine distance learning strategies, discuss students’ progress, and share best practices. They are also finding time to meet online socially and enjoy each other’s company.
How will you differentiate with this distance learning program?
Though necessary in this instance, distance learning is not a substitute for in-person instruction and evaluation. BPC remains committed to supporting every student in every grade to ensure that they are progressing during this time. If you have questions about the program or thoughts on how we can make this experience as productive as possible for your child, please contact your child’s teacher.
How will you track attendance, progress, and grades?
Daily attendance is being taken via ParentSquare. Lower school parent-teacher conferences and upper school parent-advisor-student meetings will take place online via Zoom or Google Hangout Meets after Spring Break. With our transition to a distance learning program, the administration and faculty are together evaluating best practices for both assessing students and grading assignments.
If you have additional or specific questions that are not answered here, contact your division head: