Pre-K through Grade 12 students from all four Bolles campuses attended classes at home March 25 as part of the School’s unprecedented and temporary move from actual classroom space to online virtual learning. Bolles faculty and administration spent weeks and their Spring Break preparing for this change and the first day of school was by all accounts a successful, innovative experience for all.
Teachers and students utilized Schoology, a networking and virtual learning and academic management service Bolles has been using for several years, to stage virtual classroom connections. Teachers followed the same rotating schedule as a normal school day. They took attendance, shared their lessons and engaged in real-time dialogue with students as usual. Students took breaks for lunch, recess and P.E. as dictated by a more typical on-campus school day and received assignments to further their studies as homework. Older students attended school through their chosen laptop or tablet devices while lower school children utilized the Surface tablets they use each day in their “normal” classroom environments.
Reported technical glitches were minimal and nearly all feedback the School received from parents was favorable.
“These are crazy times, and this far exceeded my expectations,” Bolles Lower School Whitehurst parent April Norris shared. “I'm sure a lot of work went into making this happen this morning, and your efforts don't go unnoticed. I'm the least tech savvy person ever, and we managed just fine.”
Another parent commended the School on managing the continued learning experience for children of all ages.
“It feels good in this time of uncertainty to be able to trust Bolles. Currently, I have multiple children at home and we are all in a learning curve,” the parent said. “But, I’m happy to say ‘so far, so good.’ I’m just feeling grateful that we are still able to be engaged in a positive educational experience.”
Bolles has established a new web page to showcase photos, videos and accounts of this historic move to online learning at https://www.bolles.org/academics/bolles-distance-learning. The page also includes relaxation and meditation resources for families, some led by Bolles faculty. For a collection of photos from the First Day of Distance Learning at Bolles, visit our online gallery.