The Most Holy Redeemer building may be closed to students, but education continues — and has continued without pause since the Governor called for distance learning on March 15.
Instead of closing school to prepare for a distance learning “hard start” on March 30, MHR teachers kept the teaching and learning connection alive throughout the month. During students’ first days at home, teachers utilized Flex Learning folders prepared for possible snow day closure and simultaneously honed skills and crafted lessons better suited for distance learning goals.
“The home-school connection is a firm foundation for all of our learning at Most Holy Redeemer,” George Vondracek, principal, said, “so the idea of learning outside of the classroom is not foreign to us.” Vondracek said that MHR staff have embraced the distance learning challenge and have enjoyed honing skills that new approach requires. “The staff has stepped up and are doing some wonderful work.”
All students do online learning in addition to hands-on assignments at home and use various platforms. Students in grades 2-8 use Chromebooks and either Seesaw or Google Classroom for sharing and posting assignments, videos, links, and other information. Students in PreK-1 use family-owned devices, do curriculum packets and connect with their teacher through videos and other materials shared via email.
Like many schools, Most Holy Redeemer uses video conferencing to meet virtually for staff meetings and, when appropriate, for connecting with students. Also, as a special treat, teachers take turns reading a “bedtime story” that is then posted on the school’s Facebook page at 6pm each evening.
“For most schools, whether public or private, the distance learning model on a full-time basis is new,” Vondracek said, “However because MHR is a faith-based school, we can perhaps more readily speak to ideas of mercy, compassion, and patience — virtues needed in distance learning at a time that is stressful for some families.”