A Heathwood education is built on a foundation of strong relationships, between students and teachers, and between students and their peers. When the pandemic forced us to close our campus in March of 2020, we were concerned about the impact remote learning would have on those bonds. But as we surveyed parents and students about their remote learning experiences, we discovered that the relationships they’d already established with their teachers and with the Heathwood community at large helped them to continue learning effectively even when they were physically apart. And as we started seeing the lesson plans that our teachers were creating, and the work our students were doing, we were blown away by their creativity, ingenuity, and resilience in the face of such a shift in their experience.
Below, we've compiled a series of resources for anyone who wants to know more about what Heathwood's remote learning experience was like: videos describing the experience from the perspective of students, parents, and faculty; a post from our blog about the June in-service training that will prepare faculty even better in the event that we need to go remote again; and samples of the work Heathwood students of all ages completed while learning remotely.
Examples of remote assignments and student work
Senior Exhibition Presentations Go Remote
Heathwood's capstone project, Senior Exhibition, usually culminates in Senior Symposium, where students present their work to a live audience of peers, faculty, and family. This year's seniors went virtual instead. Here Riana Shelley presents her research into inequities in America's prison system.
Arts Students Work Together Even When Physically Apart
When the pandemic forced the cancelation of traditional performances of the spring play and band and choral concerts, students banded together to perform remotely. Each in their own homes, the band played "Sound the Shofar," an original composition by Band Director John Duhan; the cast of the spring play, The Neverending Story, created a podcast performance; and Seniors in the Upper School Chorus harmonized on an A Capella version of "Count on Me."
Sound the Shofar: https://vimeo.com/422806875
Neverending Story: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1YJQFB9V9Z8scM4TSHBYq4faB4MJknPIj
Count on Me: https://vimeo.com/430155425
Students Showcase What They've Learned in Creative New Ways
As remote learning brought changes to students' traditional school experience, some students responded by becoming even more innovative or creative in the work they created. In the examples below, a 6th grader turned his report on metamorphic rocks into a music video that's as entertaining as it is informative, and a Senior turned her passion for the environment into a video celebration of Earth Day.
Metamorphic Rocks video: https://vimeo.com/419927068
Earth Day video: https://vimeo.com/412335090
Faculty Get Creative With Assignments
As remote learning posed challenges for traditional assessments like tests and exams, teachers came up with new ways to evaluate students' mastery of new material, such as the projects shown here, from Tim McKnight's Physics 1 class and Jenny Nelson's Introduction to Calculus class.
Physics video: https://vimeo.com/430156725
Students and Faculty Find New Ways to Stay Connected
Across all divisions, students embraced new ways of sharing their work with teachers and peers, and teachers went the extra mile to stay connected to their students. In the examples below, an Early Childhood student presents the day's "Mystery Number" to her classmates virtually, EC students act out the life cycle of a butterfly, 4th graders share the Easter Story from the Gospel of Matthew, and a 3rd grade teacher shares ideas for a socially distant Easter egg hunt.
Mystery Number video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=549570039293919
Butterfly Life Cycle video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2957331061047953
Easter Story video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=598833740706103
Easter Egg Hunt video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=720115182062002