Virtual Learning Experience at STE
Starting the school year at home - online - is not something you heard very often pre-pandemic. Saint Thomas' Episcopal chose to start off the semester virtually from Aug. 18-Sept. 8.
During those couple of weeks, Saint Thomas' Episcopal sent out daily updates in regards to what the school year will look like and discussing its new protocols. Weeks before virtual learning began, a live Zoom meeting took place where parents were able to share their questions and concerns. While many important points were brought up, it addressed the big question as to what to expect once in class learning resumes.
While notifying the parents, Saint Thomas' Episopal has given the option for students to continue school through online, or return back on campus. In preparation for the return, they have made a number of adjustments to the campus, which includes built-in plexiglass desk dividers, installing hand sanitizer dispensers, and upgrading to automatic water fountains.
Additional safety measures include, daily temperature checks, limited restroom occupancy, and lockers will no longer be available. It is strongly advised that students bring their own bottled water and packed lunch to minimize coming into contact with germs. When on campus, they have a requirement that everybody wears a mask and practices social distancing.
This year’s experience with virtual learning is nothing new; last year, students completed their final semester online as well. Like everything, it has its perks, but at the end of the day nothing comes close to being with your teachers and friends.
Art teacher Ms. Arrington said she misses the faces of her students, but has found a way to connect with them even when not face-to-face. “It is their own choice whether they stay home or not, and I understand that. I found great ways to teach art through online that has even surprised me,” Ms. Arrington said. At the end of the year, Ms. Arrington wants her students to feel confident in themselves with the art they create. “My goals are to equip students with the ability to create whatever they desire without me present,” Ms. Arrington said.
Art student Katrina Chan has been working on additional art pieces outside of class. “I am currently working on set designs and models for my AP portfolio submission. I like that with virtual learning, I have access to more of my own supplies,” Katrina said.
Despite the troubles that come in the way, Saint Thomas' Epsicopal is taking every precaution necessary to ensure everybody’s health and safety while providing the utmost education for students.
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