Our Kids
Glen Herbert - Editor

Glen Herbert
Editor/Writer, Our Kids Media

April, 2020

While it’s true that schools offer far more than academics, the current crisis is an inflection point which brings that to the fore. “Our children will need comfort and care,” writes Hugh Burke, headmaster at Meadowridge School, of their developing online program. “Regularity, expectations, stimulation, engagement, and feedback will be important to them to retain a sense of normalcy, and of care. Connections with their teachers are extremely important right now, and online connections can be powerful.” “We are not yet expert in this,” writes Burke, “but we will draw upon expertise, and we will work harder than ever to support and teach our children.”

We’ve been compiling school responses to the crisis online at: How schools are responding to COVID-19. Certainly, the agility demonstrated by the quick, multi-layered response is emblematic of other, more fundamental characteristics of what private and independent schools offer: committed, motivated staff; freedom to innovate on the fly; and an unwavering sense of accountability to key stakeholders. The content we collect now will find other uses, though the page will remain a touchstone in the months and years ahead.

Add your story

Strategies, programs, successes: to add yours to our messaging, including to the How schools are responding to COVID-19 page, respond to this email or contact me directly at [email protected]. When formulating your thoughts, these are the kinds of things readers will be interested in:

  • What measures have you taken to move classrooms online?
  • What questions and concerns are you hearing most frequently from your students, families, teachers, staff, and broader community?
  • What tools are you using to convene school communities online?
  • What have you been doing to support student engagement and wellness?

For more ...

Our Kids Webinar Archive: Moving your classrooms online

The webinar, part of an ongoing series, was hosted on March 27 by Our Kids Marketing Manager, James Shi, and you can find the recording here. Joining James was technology expert Renee Goncalves from Microsoft Canada, who shared insights on tools and applications. Also on the panel were Lois McGill, Director of Innovation and Technology at Balmoral Hall School, and Bryan Williams, a teacher at Balmoral Hall School, who shared their experience with online teaching and learning, discussing strategies for instruction and assessment. (For access to free online tools and virtual classroom management resources, visit the Microsoft profile page.)

User reviews

This may be a good time to reach out to students, parents, and alumni to provide reviews of your school and programs. The reviews will appear with your profile, and will also ensure that your school is included within the User Review Hub. For information on the project itself, including strategies for approaching potential reviewers, we’ve created a User Review Toolkit. The online portal for reviewers to submit is on the site. Many won’t have time for this right now, though there will be others who will, and see it as a welcome exercise, and appreciate both the diversion and the chance to share their thoughts. It's a unique opportunity for students, parents, and alumni to reflect on their regular schooling experience.

Join the team

For insight from other administrators/teachers, and to share best practices and strategies for online programs, join our Microsoft Team platform at https://teams.microsoft.com/join/r3mmora7qsf1

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