ACDS has implemented a robust distance learning program for all its students, grades K-8, during the COVID-19 crisis. Kindergarten through fourth graders participate in synchronous lessons and receive asynchronous video lessons and assignments daily. They also receive instruction twice weekly from each of their special subject teachers: art, music, drama, Spanish, library, and PE. Believing that maintaining social connections with peers is essential to our students’ well-being, we also are holding virtual morning meetings and providing video lunch bunches, virtual field trips, and other opportunities for our Lower Schoolers to connect socially.
Middle schoolers, grades 5-8, begin each day by meeting with their small group advisory or, on Mondays, the entire Middle School division. Students receive asynchronous video lessons and assignments in each subject four or five times per week plus one or two daily synchronous lessons via Zoom each day that rotate amongst their math, science, language arts, Spanish, and social studies classes. Middle schoolers also continue to receive weekly assignments from their current trimester Arts course teacher (music, art or drama) and their PE teacher.
Each morning parents and students receive a daily checklist of tasks to be completed that day. These checklists are meant to help students pace their day, and include tasks for morning meeting, reading, writing, math, and science or social studies as well as a reminder of which special subject teachers are posting assignments that day. All instructions and materials are located in Google Classroom and SeeSaw. Each Lower School student was sent home on the last day of regular classes with an iPad and charger so that they are able to fully participate in our distance learning program.
Students also have scheduled whole class Zoom meetings and lessons as well as Zoom small group and 1:1 sessions with their teacher throughout the week.
Middle School students begin each day with a meeting with their Advisory group; the entire middle school division meets on Monday mornings. These meetings are a time to explore topics relevant to their lives and their school community, including friendships, health, effective learning habits, ethics, social justice, and service.
Students receive video lessons and assignments in math, language arts, history, Spanish, and science in Google Classroom four or five times per week. Each class also meets one time each week on Zoom for a 60-minute synchronous lesson, and students gather on Zoom for small group work as well as 1:1 meetings with teachers. Additionally, students are receiving lessons and assignments from the PE and Arts teachers. Students who are in Drama this trimester for the Arts elective also have one weekly Zoom class period.
Each Middle School student was sent home on the last day of regular classes with a MacBook Air (6th -8th) or an iPad (5th) so that they are able to fully participate in our distance learning program.
Students in grades K-4 receive twice-weekly assignments from each of their art, music, drama, Spanish, library, and PE teachers. Fifth graders receive twice-weekly assignments from their Spanish and library teacher as well as the teacher of their Arts elective (drama, art or music) this trimester. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders are given online PE lessons as well as projects from the teacher of their Arts elective (drama, art or music) this trimester. In the great theatrical tradition of “the show must go on!”, students in 7th/8th grade drama and fourth graders are rehearsing for the annual musical and their class play respectively via Zoom. Although they won’t be able to present these productions on our stage, the casts will create and share a virtual presentation of the material.
What Parents are Saying
“Emily and I would like to say thank you for your work. Max and Evelyn are happy and challenged…We just wanted to say we think you’re doing great under difficult circumstances. Emily and I want them to get a full school year in and it seems to us we are headed toward that goal. Keep it coming.” – Ian B., 2nd & 4th grade parent
“The remote learning is a great tool, and we are quite impressed with how smoothly ACDS made the transition. Truly a great accomplishment to keep the students focused during some stressful times. A special thank you to Scott and all those directly involved with launching the web-based learning!” – Sean M., 8th grade parent
“Just wanted to send a quick note and thank you for all of your hard work this week. Thank you for the awesome curriculum you all have provided and the glimmers of happiness provided with the Zoom calls and connecting points. It really helps having a structured day for our kids and to also see you and their classmates faces. Alex was sad to get off the virtual field trip today but had such a blast while on it! He loved it and was excited when I told him he gets to do that every Friday!”
– Jennifer A., 1st grade parent
“I’ve been meaning to write something more elegant, but I am sure you understand the time constraints. Bottom line. You ROCK!!!! I am so impressed with how quickly ACDS was able to pivot to online instruction. The teachers are improving their proficiency every day.” – Lawrence N., 1st grade parent