Academics During Remote Learning
Our approach to academics during remote learning has been adapted to suit the needs of Lower School and Upper School students in distinct ways. With leadership from Sonia Cho, Head of Lower School, and from Kim Dow, Head of Upper School, we have transitioned to remote learning while maintaining academic progress. A note from each Head of School below summarizes the academic transitions KLS has made.
Lower School students have transitioned to schedules that balance both synchronous and asynchronous meetings designed with the flexibility needed to accommodate family schedules during remote learning. Our teachers understand the impact of screen time on learning for our younger students and have developed a balance of video lessons and meetings online in digestible chunks.
Our remote learning program has been designed to support the continuity of students’ academic growth, purposeful student engagement, community connection and well-being, and the provision of space for family time and reflection.
Our students in Lower School continue to engage in all of their subjects in our Remote Learning Program: Math, English Language Arts + Social studies, Music, Art, Science, Computer Science, and Outer Wellness. Students access both live meetings and curated video lessons created by our teachers on our Learning Management system and continue to engage in an environment that prioritizes mastery-based, personalized, and peer collaborative learning through group discussions, activities, and project-based learning. In addition, teachers hold virtual office hours throughout the week to provide additional student support.
To support community building and social-emotional learning, teachers facilitate Advisory Group meetings that allow students to connect with each other through games, discussions, read alouds, guest speakers, and fun challenges. Teachers also host individual meetings over video conferences to further support personalized learning and connection with the students.
Upper School students have transitioned to a synchronous and asynchronous schedule and have provided feedback about the transition to remote learning via regular surveys that inform our team’s planning. By doing regular student surveys - we hear first hand from our students and are able to really hear first hands from our students and make small iterative changes. Every class is an opportunity to try something new, reflect on how it is working, ask for feedback and integrate that feedback into the next class.
Students continue to use Canvas to access lesson material, manage course assignments, and participate in course discussion boards. Opportunities for social connection include our Advisory Groups that meet at the end of every day via virtual conference and our weekly Community Seminar gathers over a variety of topics over Zoom. Upper School students continue to make use of Goal Time to pace their learning and have virtual resources for well-being like Inner Wellness with our School Counselor and Director of SEL and Outer Wellness with our Director of Athletics. We have learned a lot about remote learning in the past few months. Most importantly that now is the time to dial up compassion and to be flexible. The first question we ask our students in every class is not how are you doing with your work — it’s how are you doing?
For students in both Lower School and Upper School, the transition to remote learning has included adapting to continue project-based learning (PBL). Through project-based learning, students apply the skills and content they are learning in class in an interdisciplinary way. Projects have been modified to accommodate our shift to remote learning, including guest lectures via video conference with students, developing activities that can be completed at home, and creating digital Exhibitions for students to show their work to a public audience.
For example, in a project exploring Rube Goldberg Machines, Lower School students crafted their own machines using household items that triggered the next student’s machine via a phone call. The project culminated in a live stream Exhibition of student machines activating one another throughout the Bay Area (watch the video above).