Changes to schooling due to the coronavirus pandemic have upended daily life for families nationwide. Like other schools, Alsion had only a few days to transition to learning from home. Because of our program design, Alsion families and staff were able to easily switch to a virtual classroom model from March through May 2020. The advantages our school offers, which facilitated the successful navigation to virtual instruction during quarantine, will also allow us to manage future changes as the pandemic evolves.
Technologically Savvy Curriculum
Alsion students and staff are comfortable with technology. Our regular, pre-pandemic use of laptops for everything from research and work to project submission, and familiarity with popular platforms including Google Classroom, Jupiter, Turnitin, Study.com, IXL, Upfront, and Quetal, allowed us to adapt quickly to distance learning for quarantine. The school set up Zoom in just two days, instituting safety protocols to thwart "Zoombombing," discussing meeting etiquette/best practices, and arranging books, study guides, and materials for students before the announcement of shelter-in-place orders.
Small Class Sizes
Our modest school and class sizes of just 10-15 students per grade ensure that teachers are intimately aware of each child's learning needs. This number of students creates a more engaging, productive online class environment. In our small classes, we enjoy a high level of trust, improving communication, making online group work easier, and facilitating a positive learning experience.
A Tight Knit Community
Our close-knit community has risen to meet the challenges of the COVID pandemic, facilitating positive, successful interaction.
- Highly Skilled Teachers
Our faculty went above and beyond to produce engaging, actionable curriculum suited to each child's changing learning environment, from finding the ideal balance between instructional and recorded content, to modifying assignments for the home setting, and identifying quality online content. Their thoughtful planning included helping students navigate pandemic-specific stressors and societal changes, with tasks designed to help children make sense of it all. Teachers extended their virtual office hours to help students on a one-on-one basis.
- Independent, Self-Motivated Students
Alsion students are continuously encouraged to be independent, self-motivated learners. Our students are accountable for their work, taking pride in presenting their work virtually during quarantine. With the support of their parents, they took creative freedoms with their assignments. The sincerity and honesty surrounding their efforts continued to impress their teachers, furthering their mutual trust and respect.
- Involved Parents
Our supportive parents rise to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing educational landscape of Alsion school. We are grateful for our families, who have volunteered to fund Zoom accounts for the school, provide materials for science labs, attend school chores like gathering eggs from our chickens, and perform many other tasks to aid the Alsion school family.
Sample Projects during 2020 COVID-19 Sessions
Here are a number of samples of projects that Alsion students worked on during the March-May 2020 virtual classroom session.
Science project - Physical science: Electricity (group project) - video
Science - Physical science: building a recycled complex machine - video
Science - Physical science: building a circuit board
Art - still life and pencil shading
Art - self-reflection sketch and pencil shading
Art - sketching (Self isolation)
Gardening - kitchen garden from food scraps project
Gardening - sketch and indepth study (Carrot)
Gardening - sketch and indepth study (Basil)
English - Pandemic project poem (1)
English - Pandemic project poem (2) - video
Current events - Pandemic project game design (1 of 2)
Current events - Pandemic project game design (2 of 2)
Physical education - Running the “Alsion mile”
Ensuring a Safe Reopening for Your Child
Our modest student body and class sizes, adaptive program, and tight-knit community allow us to facilitate a smooth transition to remote learning and hybrid models whenever it is necessary to respond to coronavirus-related restrictions or any other emergency, as needed. Though we look forward to meeting in-person in the coming academic year, our utmost priority is the health and safety of Alsion families. We remain prepared to quickly adapt to emerging information on the reopening of area schools in the coming year, evolving to meet the needs of our students.
Do you have concerns, comments, or suggestions regarding our coronavirus response? Contact Alsion School at 510-445-1127 today.