Student Voices: How certain local schools are continuing their curriculum online during the Coronavirus isolation

In light of the recent school closing for two weeks, many local-area schools are continuing their curriculum remotely by offering online classes. 

Akiva School just launched this morning their online learning program for the entire school. They're one of the first Jewish day schools to go live this week. From kindergarten to grade 6, all students logged in this morning to a class-specific online meeting for a one-hour live, interactive session with the teacher followed by a one-hour open session for questions and guidance on the materials they just learned. They have two time blocks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon for remote learning covering different subjects in three languages. They are also offering special time blocks during the week for online art classes, mindfulness classes and library time with story reading by our librarian for the younger grades. On the technology side, Akiva is using Zoom Conference for the video conferencing and their Akiva class Google site web pages to post documentation, other videos and downloadable supporting class materials. "The students are engaged and productive and the feedback from the parents has been wonderful," said Cindy Warren of the school. "Everyone is appreciating the structure and schedules in a currently hectic time. Our social media sites have been on fire with tagging and comments."

The Solomon Schechter Academy preschool and elementary schools are continuing to teach students through Google Classroom and SEESAW. Teachers are posting videos, worksheets, and activities online, and the content varies by grade level. They said they are fortunate to also have teaching assistants who are providing one-on-one support to their students through Google Meet. Teachers in the Amiel Early Childhood Centre preschool will be posting similar to their usual curriculum including songs, calendar time, arts and crafts activities, reading, and more, using the SEESAW platform. For elementary school students, the full curriculum will be covered in Google Classroom, including core subjects in our three languages (French, Hebrew and English), as well as Science & Technology, physical education, and our SMART Floor STEAM Program.

JPPS-Bialik's four pillars ensure the highest callibre of learning take place. Their extremely dedicated teachers begin teaching online today. The school wrote to parents that they're committed to do whatever is necessary to ensure children continue to achieve academic excellence, 21st century learning, and maintain their Jewish identity in Quebec.

At Lower Canada College, students all came back today but Dawn Levy said the program is something they've been working on for some time as a leadership group. "For the next couple of days we’re in an e-learning situation where students can do self-directed studying, and on Thursday we’ll be doing some live teaching," she said. "The expectations are, learning is important but we are looking at this from the point of view of health and wellbeing as well. We recognize that being isolated in our homes can have negative effects, and so being able to use a platform like Google Meet will allow students to connect with their teachers and peer groups in meaningful ways. This will really push teachers in a new direction in terms of creativity in the classroom." Beyond academics, the school will also be running their cocurricular activities. "Competitive sports is off the table at the moment, but our PhysEd department and fitness trainers will be doing fitness videos to keep everyone active and engaged," Levy said. "We're working with student leadership teams to get them going on clubs and activities students can do together online, and as a community, we're trying to create a lot of engagement. For example, today is St. Patrick’s Day so we sent out a link and asked people to take a pic of their children or themselves in green. We’re launching those kinds of initiatives to keep spirits up and create a feeling of engagement at school."

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