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Boarding School Online Learning - Spring 2020

Golfgr8Golfgr8 1581 replies24 threads Senior Member
edited March 23 in Prep School Parents
In the interest of focusing on the unique issues experienced by many boarding school students during the Spring 2020 term, I have started this thread. As the “Coffee Talk” lady from SNL would say, “Talk amongst yourselves!”

* Has anyone started online learning yet from their boarding school? I know a few schools start this week. Please share which schools are starting this week.

I will start off by saying that our school did not adequately prepare the students for not returning from Spring Break. One teacher did say (half joking) to bring home your books. At least our kiddo has the computer...but most kids were focused on finals that first week of March and getting the heck out of there! Anyone else out there been off since March 6 or even earlier - without books or supplies.

How are teachers managing class rooms where kids don’t have the required materials at home?
edited March 23
116 replies
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Replies to: Boarding School Online Learning - Spring 2020

  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1581 replies24 threads Senior Member
    How are schools managing class times for students overseas?
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  • msc3173msc3173 51 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Cate started today. My dd said a couple of classmates from overseas joined in...midnight for one and 3am for the other. The online sessions are being recorded for kids that can’t make it live.

    I don’t know about planning for this since dd was already home but I have been impressed with the effort placed into online learning and the structure of it. Our lps that dd attended seems to be a hot mess so it will be interesting to compare with friends.
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  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch 2662 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Masters starts next week. Faculty and admin have been preparing/retraining intensely (it's a Harkness school), even though they're theoretically on break this week. (It's a two-week break with an extra five days thrown in when the school closed early.) We've had good communication so far, laying out how this is *meant* to work. Fingers crossed. The kids are definitely looking forward to "seeing" each other.
    Similarly to @msc3173's observation, the LPS is not off to a great start.
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1581 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Anyone taking a visual arts class online? Has anyone had news about a lab class yet?
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  • SarripSarrip 702 replies25 threads Member
    Cushing Academy went on Spring break on March 12th. Spring break was to end on 3/30 but was extended an extra week so teachers could prepare for virtual learning. Virtual learning begins 4/6. They were advised to bring their textbooks, calculators etc when they went on spring break as part of the plan for possible virtual learning. My daughter is interested in how her A/P physics class is going to work out online.
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  • CateCAParentCateCAParent 540 replies6 threads Member
    I second @msc261 ’s observations. I don’t think any students brought home books. Break started 2/29, no one was thinking school would close at the time and it was the end of the trimester.

    Some teachers didn’t grasp that the student really have no supplies, and are adjusting as they go.

    They extended break a week to give the teachers a chance to figure out how to do this. They are doing synchronous and asynchronous classes, I think shooting for 2 (3?) classes at most per day. The expectation is that 9-10 graders will be busy 4.5 hours per day, and 11-12 graders 5.5 hours. The homework started yesterday. They sent out a guide to online learning to parents and students a few days ago, and Kiddo has been getting a bunch more info from the admin and his teachers. I am not involved at all.

    I will be curious how they handle ceramics, chorus and chemistry (oh my!). But they’re doing it!

    My challenge is how to emulate the bs structured day here. There was a reason kiddo needed to go to bs.
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1849 replies16 threads Senior Member


    I hope @skieurope doesn't get mad at the double post, but I saw this thread was somewhat duplicative, yet not...so my post applied to both

    @CateCAParent our situation is pretty similar. Chemistry....again, I’m not sure how they do labs at home, I just foresee my kitchen as a sacrifice and a fire truck in my driveway.
    DS brought a carryon and his laptop. 5 days worth of crew uni’s. We don’t have water within 3 hours of us. No school/classroom items. The school is collecting the things he needs for class and mailing them.
    We have received a few emails, but I’m sure those will ramp up once Monday (class resumes) gets closer. DS probably has numerous emails in his inbox he doesn’t feel the need to share. I mean, he navigates school on a daily basis without us-why should this be any different?
    DH asked him if he asked the school to send him a few more items of clothing, etc since he only brought a limited supply—it was met with an incredulous look and ‘I’m fine’. Thank goodness we are self-isolating. 😂

    DD figured out her first day of remote learning at the LDS. They are not doing real time classes, which is a bit concerning but also understandable. The day started in frustration and near-tears...we like our routine and structure, but finally settled in. She was done in about 2 hours. Then, she worked on side projects that are do several weeks down the road. I think by the day’s end, she felt good about how things would go and actually enjoyed the freedom of tackling classes in her preferred order.

    My main concern in this is for both of my kids, this is a very important year for grades, performance, ECs and ultimately teacher recommendations. I know everyone who has a junior and/or 7th grader is in the same boat, but how are boarding schools/colleges going to view this situation? And if the schools decide to do pass/fail, how does this affect all of the hard work my kids put in to excel? (Don’t even get me started with the uncertainty of subject & AP tests).

    I guess we will just have to weather this together and trust in the fact that everything happens for a reason and they’ll land where they are supposed to. (Goes completely against my Type A).

    I consider myself fortunate that these are my current worries and the fact that my at risk kid is healthy, as are the rest of my family members and loved ones. Hope everyone else on this forum can say the same. Virtual hugs everyone (those are the only safe kind)
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1849 replies16 threads Senior Member
    Oh and @Golfgr8 i saw a few schools on social media teaching visual arts online and it appeared they had shipped supplies to the students. I’m sure each school will handle that a bit differently, but it was interesting to see.
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1581 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Math teacher wrote an email telling kids to be prepared for more homework to catch up on course work because they had an extra week & a half of vacation😱. That email came in at midnight....DH and I endured a tirade from kiddo that lasted until 2:00.

    Attention all teachers: Please do not post your emails to students at midnight - especially if it’s on the subject of more homework, make up work, tests, or anything else that will cause a melt down....the students are not in their dorms now, they are at home....with us!
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  • 417WHB417WHB 251 replies4 threads Junior Member
    We did not get out till after second week of March so there were enough indications of potential issues that kids were told to bring their school stuff home, so hopefully they all did bring at least their laptops and school issued iPads. We start on Friday so emails have begun to flow with instructions. They are also working with kids to adjust schedules if needed. Particularly with regards to visual arts, some are really not doable online - pottery etc. - so they are offering switch to drawing or photography or other more online-friendly options.
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1849 replies16 threads Senior Member
    DD’s school website just crashed. Only Day 2. 😬
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 896 replies17 threads Member
    Son starts next week. Was told to bring everything home so he better be prepared. I don't know how art or lab will function. He is not getting any extra time off, this was just normal break for him. I am NOT into art in my house. I realize that makes me a bad mom but I have "cleaned up" enough acrylic paint in my house to know there's no way to clean up after art projects unless you have a tarp down when kids are arting. The only room in my house unused enough to accommodate that has been turned into a full time gym by my kids who are obsessed with staying in shape because they are missing their season and were told by all club coaches "the kids who come back in shape will be noticed vs the kids who come back huffing and puffing."
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1581 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Yep @one1ofeach - sounds like our house!
    Kiddo has been working out every day - club coach sent out work out schedule for the teams.

    Are your kids doing virtual from their room or dining room? We are setting up the guest room into an “office” for online learning and homework.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 896 replies17 threads Member
    Probably set up an "office space" - I assume it will be more intense than the friends I've heard about who just have a couple hours of homework basically.

    Feeling very lucky that we have the room to accommodate all these new activities that need to happen inside our house.
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  • SarripSarrip 702 replies25 threads Member
    Golfgr8 wrote: »
    Are your kids doing virtual from their room or dining room? We are setting up the guest room into an “office” for online learning and homework.

    My DD informed me that she doesn’t want to work from her room so I’m going to tidy up my home office for her. I personally have been working remotely from home at the dining room table since it has more space than the small office.
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  • CTMom21CTMom21 606 replies2 threads Member
    I spent part of Sunday cleaning up/clearing out the kids’ rooms so they have better workspaces. The former guest room has been my office (now at home working full time for at least the next month), and DS (self-employed) works in his office and/or downstairs. Dining room has various other projects.

    DS2 is in the midst of his first on-line school day with his LDS. So far, so good. Ceramics class didn’t “meet” today; he doesn’t know yet how that will work, though they had been told of an upcoming research project — maybe that will be it for this last stretch (I don’t plan to invest in a wheel). His school is less rigorous than DS1’s, and I anticipate he will be just fine as long as he can be left alone. DS1 has gotten some teacher communications so far but we expect to hear a lot by the end of the week. They start April 1.
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  • CTMom21CTMom21 606 replies2 threads Member
    @one1ofeach — Sounds like DS’s Coach. DS already had his spring break workout plan and now has another layer from the club coaches. Very glad for the weights and various workout stuff that we have and that there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground!
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1581 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Email from school at midnight also informed students to expect an hour of homework per class per night. DH found a Chemistry teacher supply store online - we ordered alcohol and aloe to make homemade sanitizer.

    FWIW - I think the few businesses that are doing well down here are home gym equipment and bike stores....oh and liquor stores.
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  • 417WHB417WHB 251 replies4 threads Junior Member
    All of our gym equipment stores have been closed as non-essential, we managed to get a set of weights for DS at Dick's last day before they closed. I am jealous that all of you seem to have workout plans, we have nothing of the sort so DS is winging it, and IMO doing way too much. Last thing we need is for him to get hurt right now. He is assuming the summer season is still a go which I think is a huge question mark at best.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1971 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Hey if Bob Ross could do painting on TV in the 1970's they can figure out how to teach art online. A close friend works for Tufts. They sent art supplies to students in a huge box a few weeks ago. Not easy to teach ceramics but doable. Access to supplies is tough but dick blicks is a great resource if you need something. And everything is online.
    Stanford online and homeschoolers in remote areas take Chem, Physics, anatomy etc. So hopefully people are using their best practices as an example.
    I feel for parents whose kids left books at BS. Some of those books were pretty expensive ( like math) $435.00 Not to mention tough to find.
    It's great some of your kids are staying in shape. Mine are running but that's it.
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