Following Governor Murphy’s directive on March 13, Beacon Preparatory Academy moved to remote learning which will continue until further notice. Remote teaching and learning happen in partnership with families and in good faith that everyone is doing their best in a complex, evolving situation. Our teachers are drawing on the relationships they have built with their students as well as the existing architecture of their classes to guide decisions about how best to continue teaching remotely.
Connection and collaboration are essential elements of remote learning, and given Beacon Prep’s well established commitment to Social and Emotional Learning, we are well equipped to deliver on both fronts. Given the heightened anxiety and uncertainty we are all experiencing at this moment as a result of COVID-19, it is important that we approach each other with compassion, generosity, and well-being in mind.
It can be tempting to try to duplicate students’ in-class experience by primarily utilizing digital platforms that require teachers and students to be online together at the same time. However, research has shown that blended approaches that include a combination of online, real-time sessions, self-paced engagement , and offline work (e.g., reading, sketching ideas, writing notes, or composing/calculating by hand) can often be a more effective way to involve students in meaningful learning and growth. Perhaps equally important, personal, offline pursuits and “projects” (pleasure reading, discussions with a family member or friend remotely, playing an instrument, listening to or writing music, journal writing, photography and/or video production, coding for fun, designing a robot) can provide important learning opportunities and balance for students in a remote learning environment.
As with any school day, we expect students to actively engage in all learning that their teachers have planned for them. Our faculty will be available to students and parents for instruction and questions between the hours of 9AM and 4PM each school day. Our faculty will be using Google Classroom to post lessons and communicate with students. Additionally, students will have access to many online websites such as BrainPop, Quizizz, ReadWorks, Studies Weekly and more to keep them engaged in different learning strategies and activities.
Information is being sent to parents weekly from the child’s teacher and administration. We are receiving feedback from parents and sharing information to use to improve our online classrooms when necessary.