Partnership Schools, like all Catholic schools around the country, are communities supported by teachers, leaders, students and families who embrace change and adapt their work to meet the changing needs of their families every day.
As the nation adapts to the challenge of remote learning in the age of COVID-19, this adaptability has given us the strength we need to continue to meet our students where they are and help them learn and grow, even when we cannot come together as we would like to.
At the same time, we work to ensure that adaption does not lead to compromise. The beliefs and principles that guide our classroom work every day are still those that guide our vision for and support of remote learning today. For us at the Partnership, that means finding balance between paper and pencil and technology; between books and apps.
To that end, we have launched an approach to remote learning that keeps the following core Partnership principles front and center:
- Remote learning isn’t always online.
We should leverage “edtech” discerningly. It can be a great tool–and it can sometimes add unhelpful complexity to what can be done better with paper and pencil. Moreover, we should embrace the opportunity to help our students balance screens with books– to extend their attention for and love of reading, even within the context of distance education.
- Quality over quantity.
We want to give students meaningful and diverse daily learning assignments. And we want to guard against assigning work just to keep students busy.
- Literacy drives overall achievement.
We want to actively keep our students learning to read and reading to learn to every extent possible, across all disciplines including science, history, and religion.
- Strong procedural fluency in math is important and valuable.
We want to keep our students “thinking mathematically” by practicing basic skills while also applying what they know to problem-solving.
- We are communities of faith.
Even when we are not in the same building, we want students to experience prayer and community, in addition to learning, throughout this time.
In addition, as our families adjust to this period of remote learning, we encourage our teachers and parents to:
- Maintain Routine:
Students thrive in an environment where routines are clear and predictable. We encourage teachers to find ways to give students and families a comfortable sense of “routine” to facilitate calm and predictability during this uncertain time.
To that end, understand that we aren’t trying to fill what would normally be a 8-10 hour school day with academic work, rather, we aim to help families carve out time for learning in their child’s day, while also leaving room for “normal life.”
- Support Meaningful Learning:
We believe that the work our students do should be both manageable and meaningful. Our plans aim to enrich students’ daily study with learning opportunities that align with–though don’t attempt to replace–classroom experiences.
- Ensure Manageability:
We understand that most families are not able to drop everything to begin a full-time routine of homeschooling. Therefore, we aim to leverage families to support learning in ways they are realistically equipped to support, without adding to the burden they already face.
The schools in the Partnership network have adapted for 166 years to meet our students’ needs, and embrace that heritage in this moment. We have long believed as Catholic educators that parents are our partners; never has that been more true. We look forward to feedback so that we can continue to work together as partners to help our students grow and thrive.