When our physical buildings are temporary closed due to COVID-19, virtual school continues and we maintain our mission to challenge gifted children in a community that cherishes each individual and fosters a love of learning, discovery, and creativity, from a distance.
It's the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom. – Michael Morpurgo
What does Distance Learning – Seabury Style look like?
The learning experiences teachers design when school is in regular session need to look different when students are learning from home. But Seabury has designed its distance learning program to ensure that the program reflects Seabury’s commitment to child-centered education for highly capable students, includes research-based best practices, is differentiated to meet individual needs, and supports both the academic and social–emotional needs of students.
The delivery of the program includes a blend of activities and assignments that students can work on independently (asynchronous work) and times when students can meet with teachers individually, in small groups, or as a large group (synchronous work). This gives students the opportunity to work at their own pace and on a schedule that meets the needs of their family, but also allows for opportunities to meet with teachers and friends. Synchronous learning includes tutoring sessions, small group meetings, and office hours, all of which provide opportunities for students to work with teachers and other students on projects, to navigate instruction, or to receive individual support. Synchronous learning also includes regular class meetings, which occur at least two times a week, that may include instruction, but those meetings are primarily designed to support the social-emotional health of each child. In this time of heightened anxiety for everyone, gifted children, who often intellectually understand more than they are emotionally ready to face, may experience heightened emotions and more anxiety, frustration, and fear. Face to face time with teachers and other students allows students to have a safe place to share their feelings and receive support.
To support families, teachers work closely with parents, especially those of younger students, to make sure they have the resources they need to make their child’s distance learning program successful. While there is required work, designed to help the whole grade move forward with essential skills, there are also optional extension activities so that students with more time or who are particularly excited about a project can take their learning further. As at school, teachers differentiate to meet individual student needs, whether that means offering more complex work, giving students the opportunity to move faster, or providing accommodations for students with learning differences and, in the case of distance learning, challenging family circumstances. Specialists — art, library, PE, and performing art — also provide enrichment activities for students to complete weekly. These include read aloud stories from the library, PE logs that encourage students to get up and move regularly, and art and performing arts activities that tap into students’ creativity.
Overall, even with distance learning, Seabury is committed to doing great things with and for gifted kids.
Lesson plan examples from
Distance Learning – Seabury Style
Does your child learn something new each day?
At Seabury, we believe that every child deserves a school where they can learn something new EVERY DAY ... even during COVID-19 closures and distance learning.