Schools across the country are still coming to terms with a new way of learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March, it became clear that the restrictions implemented because of the virus would have an unavoidable impact on students of all ages. However, while some institutions are struggling to adapt to the new learning landscape, others have gone above and beyond to make the transition as easy as possible for students, teachers, and staff.
For faculty and staff at St. David’s School in Raleigh, NC, COVID-19 presented an opportunity to continue demonstrating their commitment to academic excellence under any and all circumstances. Within three days of the state-wide restrictions being put into place St. David’s embraced distance learning for its students. The school’s administration staff worked closely with the faculty to develop a distance learning platform that maintained the school’s key values.
St. David’s created distance learning resources for students and parents to keep them informed and up-to-date on the constantly-changing situation. In addition to those resources, the school created a ‘Virtual Classroom’ for students to access each day, allowing them to maintain relationships with their teachers, coaches, and classmates.
St. David’s staff members say the school’s size is one of the factors that made the transition so seamless. With a 1:7 faculty to student ratio, St. David’s ensures all of its students receive the attention they deserve. Although students are virtually learning from a distance, St. David’s has kept the small class sizes to ensure academic excellence is not compromised.
School leaders are also going out of their way to minimize the effects the COVID-19 restrictions are having on students’ personal lives. Virtual distance learning is an adjustment for students and parents which is why St. David’s established “Warrior Wellness.” The Warrior Wellness program provides the St. David’s community with regular updates from the school’s nurses and counselors, encouraging emails from teachers, and weekly chapel messages from the school’s chaplain.
For many, St. David’s is more than just a school and the sense of community is more important than ever. To keep that community bond, St. David’s has transformed several of its upcoming events into virtual outings that can be attended remotely.
St. David’s is also working to minimize the impact felt by its senior class who will miss out on a traditional graduation. The school recently launched a “We Love Our Seniors” initiative which allowed graduating students to submit photos and be recognized for their high school accomplishments.
St. David’s has embraced this newfound way of learning and has demonstrated that its faculty and teaching staff will rise to any occasion in order to ensure the best possible learning environment for its students.