Our Knapp School & Yeshiva has transitioned to remote learning, using their digital learning structure already in place before the mandated school closures due to COVID-19. Teachers are using Google Classroom, along with online learning resources such as Reading from A-Z, Prodigy Math, Scholastic News, iCivics, and BrainPop in their daily instruction. “Since our teachers and students are familiar with these platforms, the transition to e-learning did not require starting from scratch,” says Maureen Gilligan, Director of Instruction and Assessment. “Our e-learning plan was developed through conversations with each teacher prior to closing. This way teachers could prepare their students for the digital expectations.”
Staff has created plans that replicate the students’ regular schedules and teachers have posted innovative and interactive lessons and learning activities. Several teachers learned how to use digital tools such as Google Docs, Zoom, and Screencast so they can share lessons online. Chava Saul, Instructional Technology Specialist, issued each student a login to Google Suite, in addition to providing digital resource training to help teachers better engage students.
“In the last month, Knapp School & Yeshiva staff and leadership have put forth immense amounts of time, energy, and thoughtfulness to make the transition from working in-person with our students, to keeping students engaged and supported remotely,” says Sandra Spicher, Knapp School’s principal. “Their outstanding efforts have been appreciated by our students and their families.”
Teachers and clinicians are also in contact with families to initiate virtual clinical services and ensure they are aware of the extension of services. “We’re finding that our students are missing their one-to-one learning relationships, especially with Sparky, the school’s therapy dog,” continues Maureen. “The idea came about to have a Zoom meeting with Sparky and three of our elementary school classrooms. It was a great success.”
In addition, one Yeshiva classroom has met regularly using Zoom, and other classes plan to initiate similar schedules with instructional meetings at least two times each day and group meetings with clinicians once a week. Maureen notes, “It’s not the same as in-person contact, but it is a real pleasure when everyone gets together. The students especially like seeing each other on their video screens and saying hello to everyone.”