Welcome to St. Stephen's Distance Learning Portlightbulb.pngal!

This space was created for you, our distance learning families. The portal builds on the collective commitment of our faculty to provide high-quality distance education, building upon the lessons learned during the emergency campus closure last spring and the recommendations from our families.
 
The following areas guided the development of our distance learning program at St. Stephen’s Episcopal, which encompasses high academic standards, engaging lessons, and collaborative relationships:

1—Community
At the end of the 2019-20 academic year, many of our teachers reflected on their careers as teachers and, in many ways, caregivers, and on how their careers changed when students were not in the classroom. Our teachers missed their students; our students missed their teachers; our community missed each other. This year, human connections will be prioritized and every opportunity will be taken to foster community within our distance learning cohorts and students on campus. 

2—Montessori Method
The Montessori Method of learning, driven by the child within a classroom full of engaging manipulatives, does not translate well to a one-dimensional screen. This year, we will support our distance learners by providing families with learning kits and equipping teachers with document cameras that will enhance lesson footage. Our distance learning teachers will challenge students to take the lead in their learning and to fully utilize the manipulatives.

3—Clarity
Our distance learning experience in 2019-20 taught us how to communicate expectations, organize schedules, receive and evaluate student work, and set parameters. This clarity from the beginning will allow teachers to focus their energy more quickly on maximizing distance learning in 2020-21.

4—Parents and Guardians
At St. Stephen's, we have always appreciated the engagement of our students' parents and guardians in our school community.  Currently, our parents are called to be educators more than volunteers. It’s sometimes difficult to know how best to support children, when and how to intervene, how to provide feedback, and how to provide structure. Through this distance learning portal and ongoing parent education, we will provide parents with resources to support their children's learning.

5—Individual Attention
Students need time in small groups and in one-on-one lessons to connect as people, to stay mentally healthy and motivated, and to make sure they are engaged. This year, frequent small-group and individual lessons will be featured in all levels.

6—Resources
Everything in distance learning takes longer for a teacher – planning lessons, prepping for classes, putting students in groups, tracking down a student, providing feedback; everything. This year, dedicated distance-learning teachers will support our Lead Faculty by providing direct instruction, repetition, and extra support for students.
 
Thank you for joining us as we teach, create community, and help our students embrace learning opportunities despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
In Peace, 
Jerri
 
Jerri King, Head of School
 
Selected content in this Distance Learning Portal was adapted from ASIJ's Distance Learning Plan, which is graciously available under a Creative Commons license for other schools and educators to use as a reference.