Dear Fairmont parents, guardians, and host families,
We have now completed our fifth day of remote learning at Fairmont, and I wanted to take a moment to share the accomplishments of our community, as well as where we are headed.
Within a span of just a few days, Fairmont teachers were tasked with redesigning school. This would be considered a challenging task in any situation, a monumental task in this time-frame. Still, our teachers did not hesitate to take on the challenge and our rallying cry was born: “Whatever we need to do for our students.” Our first and most important decision was to offer remote learning as opposed to standard online education.
What is remote learning? Remote learning allows for personal support, social interaction, and engagement, whereas traditional online learning puts the bulk of the learning on the student as independent learners. Remote learning offers students the ability to learn alongside their teacher through face-to-face, live instruction (synchronous) as well as recorded lessons posted on Tadpoles, Blackbaud, and Canvas (asynchronous). Being able to connect with his or her teacher on a regular basis as well as receiving guided instruction helps students feel supported when he or she works on independent work as well.
As some schools are simply passing out a week’s worth of packets to their students as a short term solution, our teachers strive to maintain as much continuity within their classes so that our students are still receiving the Fairmont education you have come to know, love, and invest in. It goes without saying that this requires an immense amount of preparation outside of a traditional school day, but our dedicated teachers are willing to do that because of their passion for educating our students.
As we continue this new endeavor we have paused to reflect, listening to our parents and faculty in order to assess our progress so that we can provide the best remote learning program possible.
So what does this look like? For our younger students, we want to ensure we provide a balanced learning environment by providing additional live sessions with their teachers throughout the day, as well as posting those recorded sessions for students that are unable to attend. This will provide both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) learning opportunities. We recognize our families are our partners in this journey and we want to provide you flexibility in your day as well. For our older students, you will see an increase in the amount of face-to-face teaching during the day as we navigate the balance between instruction and independent work.
Teachers of all grade levels will continue to provide weekly and daily schedules so the students know what to expect and so that parents know how to support their child(ren) at home. We cannot thank you enough for your support during this time and value your partnership, now more than ever. We will continue to send updates as we grow and learn and hope to see you all IN PERSON very soon.
Mr. Chad Jackson