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Strake Jesuit freshman Carter McKenna (pictured) participating in online classes.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, schools in Houston and across the United States have either temporarily shut down or moved to virtual learning. Strake Jesuit College Preparatory made its move to online learning classes on March 24 when its students returned from spring break.
School leadership sent emails to students and parents on March 21 detailing the new virtual learning structure. Strake Jesuit faculty acknowledges that online learning cannot fully replace the in-person experience. However, the school leaders believe the students will have a positive learning experience through a blend of face-to-face meetings using iPad videoconferencing along with self-paced instruction.
Students’ schedules will be the same as during a regular school day, and students will be responsible for checking in to their classes via video. Even though students will miss the social aspect of school, such as community time, lunch, extracurriculars and masses, they will continue to receive a quality education. Strake Jesuit’s school schedule utilizes five one-hour class periods per day, so students will still spend plenty of time with teachers and classmates through their iPads.
“As teenage boys, I think we may have some difficulties staying focused in the virtual classroom, but I appreciate the school’s effort to give us the best learning experience possible during these strange circumstances,” said Leonard Engels, a junior at Jesuit. “As time goes on, we might get used to it.”
Not only did Strake Jesuit leadership decide on a plan to help its students, it put it into action with the students only losing one school day.
Strake Jesuit junior Luke Botard commented, “I think they did a really good job reacting quickly. The fact that there is really no delay or cancellation of our classes makes me feel like our education is their priority.”
Strake Jesuit appears to have developed a quality solution to such a unique problem. As students adjust to this new learning environment, the school is welcoming feedback for continued improvement and adjustment. In-person classes are currently scheduled to resume at Strake Jesuit on April 14, but that date is subject to change.