Virtual Campus / Distance Learning FAQ

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Virtual Campus / Distance Learning FAQ

April 24th, 2020|Food for Thought|


 
 

So much has changed since we said good-by before leaving for Spring Break. The world is very different now and just like the world, Powhatan has adjusted to the changes by introducing Distance Learning across all grade levels. With all of these changes, what has not changed at Powhatan is a focus on student success. With this in mind, we have been diligently working on how we will continue to deliver our strong academic program to our students.

I am so proud of our faculty, staff and administration. This has truly been their finest hour as they have shown creativity, resiliency, innovation and willingness to learn (exemplifying our school motto to Learn for Life) as we deliver our curriculum to you in a very different way each day.

Our goal for distance learning is to keep our curriculum moving forward by introducing new concepts, providing activities and resources, and keeping students connected to their teachers and the program. Although distance learning will never replace the direct face-to-face engagement students have with their teachers and peers as members of a small close-knit campus community, it will allow students to continue to move forward in their studies and to nurture relationships with friends and faculty alike.

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about the current school COVID-19 situation.

~ Mrs. Scarborough, Head of School

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is the Powhatan School campus closed?

Powhatan School is helping to flatten the curve and pivoted to distance learning. Our physical campus is closed. (All facilities)

What does Distance Learning look like at Powhatan School?

Our goal for distance learning is to keep our curriculum moving forward by introducing new concepts, providing activities and resources, and keeping students connected to their teachers and the program. Students will be expected to be accountable each day for doing activities and assignments that their teachers provide. That will look different in each division, and Mr. Holgate (Upper School) and Dr. Gosnell (Lower School) will be in communication with families in each of their divisions.

The two types of learning occurring at Powhatan include both synchronous and asynchronous learning. The primary difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning is instant and immediate feedback. With synchronous learning, learners can receive immediate feedback from their teacher through real-time communication. Asynchronous learning doesn’t enable that type of interaction.

Synchronous learning refers to an ‘online classroom’ in which students are engaging in learning at the same time. We are doing this through Google Meet to allow for teachers and students to connect online in a video conferencing format.

Meanwhile, asynchronous learning is a term used to describe forms of learning that do not occur at the same time. When teachers send work home, allowing for students to work on their own at a time that is convenient. We are using this type of learning as well, especially in the Lower School.

What platform is Powhatan School using for Distance Learning?

We’ve used Google Classroom for a number of years already in the Upper School for daily assignments and communication for grades 6-8. Over the past three weeks we’ve migrated all grades to Google Classroom and use the entire Google for Education suite for support. Live real-time classroom experiences are hosted through Google Meet.

What support is available to parents for Distance Learning?

We understand and value greatly our parent partners in this unique setting. Our Institutional Technology team has created an internal website to assist parents and students with navigating the abundance of resources available at each grade level. The site was emailed to all parents and students (Upper School) at the launch of Distance Learning on March 25, 2020.

Are Powhatan School teachers introducing new material?

Yes. Teachers are utilizing online Distance Learning tools to teach and mentor. Students will be expected to be accountable each day for doing activities and assignments that their teachers provide. Normal grades will be earned.

What does a Distance Learning class look like?

The Upper School classroom schedule looks very much like the traditional bricks-and-mortar daily schedule. Students log in to each content area class with their teacher for a robust digital learning experience on a daily basis. The Upper School uses daily synchronous learning, where students can receive immediate feedback from their teacher through real-time communication.

The Lower School utilizes a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Understanding that parent involvement is important with our younger learners, teachers provide work in Google Classroom and supplement with videos and interactive experiences to go along with the work assigned. Live in-person reading groups, math, and other lessons continue on a weekly basis within the virtual world of Google Meets.

Class sizes remain small, just like our normal physical campus. The average class size is 13 students per class.

Take a few minutes to visit our school blog to see and hear from teachers about the experience in their ‘new’ classrooms: https://powhatanschool.org/pulse/

Are campus offices still operating?

The on-campus offices at Powhatan are technically closed (physical campus), but the people who work in those offices are working from home and coming to campus periodically (in line with State regulations), so that our school can continue to function.

Contact Information for those virtual offices are as follows:

Head of School Office:
allisonjewell@powhatanschool.org

Admissions Office:
mikehatfield@powhatanschool.org

Business Office:
susieanderson@powhatanschool.org

Development Office:
nataliehedlund@powhatanschool.org

My family is currently attending a different school. How do I enroll my child at Powhatan School?

We understand the challenges and stresses of this unprecedented time and strive to ensure that families can enroll for the coming year. We are trying to balance being compassionate towards students and parent, while upholding our academic standards during admission. The Admissions Office continues to work with individual families on a rolling basis, please contact Mr. Hatfield at mikehatfield@powhatanschool.org or simply click on the button below and fill out the contact form for us to reach out to you.

Learn More About Powhatan School!

 

COVID-19 Resource Links
When are Enrollment Contracts due for the 2020-21 School Year?

Enrollment Contracts for the 2020-2021 year will be sent home electronically on Wednesday, March 25. Because of the changes in our families’ daily routines, we are extending the return date to APRIL 16 to give our families plenty of time to re-enroll.

click here to learn more about powhatan school!