It was unexpected for everyone, but the last three months of the 2019-2020 school year were spent in remote learning instead of in the classroom because of the stay-at-home order during COVID-19. Teachers taught, students learned – enriching minds, fostering faith, expanding talents – but in a different way.

Each teacher and homeroom had an assigned Zoom classroom time and students and teachers were happy to see each other. Many teachers converted a part of their home into a temporary classroom. A common saying among our staff was “we’re all in this together.”

Flexibility was key during remote learning, especially at the beginning. OLW was ready for remote learning in case of snow days, extreme cold, or power outages as have happened in the past. No one thought remote learning would be for such a long period of  time. But we were ready! Bravo to the teachers for being so flexible, adaptable and accommodating for our students.

We are very fortunate that we have a 1:1 student/iPad ratio in the middle school and also fortunate that we were able to have iPads available for students in the elementary building as well. Fifth – eighth grade students used school-issued iPads at home. Teachers used Google Classroom to assign homework. For families who needed an extra device for their student, we were able to accommodate them with an iPad. Teachers in younger grades used apps such as Seesaw to communicate with parents and provide learning assignments. They also got together on Zoom and students could show their work to their teacher through the computer screen, or they could listen to their teacher reading a book. These were variations of the work we do in the classrooms.

These technology resources were the direct result of a multi-year, focused fundraising effort by the Family School Association to bring modern resources into the school, specifically to offer a 1:1 iPad-student ratio in the middle school. Thank you to FSA and all the donors over the years that made it possible.

Technology plus the effort, creativity, and dedication of all of our teachers helped us stay committed to our mission to “enrich the minds of our students.” Thank you to the school community for your support and prayers in the past and in the future.