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Amid the growing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19’s presence in the United States, Eagle Rock School administrators have called for “all hands on deck” to prepare and deliver virtual learning experiences for staff and students through the remainder of the Spring 2020 trimester (known as ER 80 — the 80th trimester since our founding in the early-1990s).
Our connection to the virus named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes — named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — began in February, when we began closely watching the news and developments around the virus. On March 10, the decision was made have all Eagle Rock School students return to their homes, supported by a plan for remote learning and ongoing student support.
We immediately knew that communication would be important as our students spread out to their homes across the country. Beth Ellis, Associate Director of Students, spearheaded a virtual hub to centralize communication, learning options, instructions for virtual communication, staff contact info, and other resources students may use throughout this now-virtual trimester.
Staff identified ways to make distance learning a reality for our students while maintaining an approach that is engaging, reflective of our experiential learning approach, and accessible across students’ various situations. Our school team began this undertaking by committing to students that they would indeed be able to earn the credits for which they were enrolled when they were on campus. We created new credit-bearing opportunities that we named learning experiences.
Beth Ellis, along with other staff members, fleshed out a website, after which Sarah Bertucci, Director of Professional Development and former Director of Curriculum, facilitated building the learning opportunities alongside our instructional specialists and Public Allies Fellows.
The learning opportunities for the rest of the trimester include two Power Standard classes, which are high-yield credits that take place over a period of 10 weeks, as well as several shorter learning experiences that will change each week. Students who have already enrolled in Power Standard classes will continue to earn these significant credits.
Here are the offerings: Continue reading…