Remote Learning

As an independent school, St. Philip’s Episcopal School empowers faculty to teach with passion and freedom as they craft meaningful experiences for students and create a curriculum shaped by the School’s vision and mission. Irrespective of how or where teachers guide student learning, St. Philip’s faculty members are driven by the School’s mission to provide an excellent educational experience in a safe, caring community. The School’s mission is to educate each child intellectually, physically, and spiritually in an atmosphere of acceptance and inquiry.

Remote Learning Philosophy & Plan


Philosophy

To fulfill the School’s mission in a remote learning environment, faculty and staff consider the ages of students, as well as their academic, social, and emotional needs. There is a concerted effort to balance the School’s desire to extend learning to the home with students’ varying abilities to attend to schoolwork in a self-directed or family-supported environment. This careful balance influences the remote learning program objectives, plans, and definition of success as St. Philip’s works in fulfillment of the School’s mission.

Goals

  • Continue the learning. This looks different for each grade, and each of the School’s divisions (Early Childhood and Lower School) create a remote learning framework to guide expectations of faculty, students, and families. Faculty devise units and lessons that teach and enable practice of key skills using remote technologies and non-technology-based tools. The School’s objective is not to take physical school and move every aspect of it to a remote learning environment; instead, it deems continuity of learning and participation by students as fundamental to the remote learning philosophy, and those outcomes guide St. Philip’s remote learning processes.
  • Leverage existing technology tools. St. Philip’s remote learning leverages technology tools already used by the classroom teachers, including the Google Suite (Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Classroom, and Hangouts), Pearson Realize, and Seesaw. Faculty from all levels share student work via Seesaw. Faculty draw on other familiar resources as well, such as IXL, eSpark Learning, Khan Academy, Scholastic, and Reflex Math, among others.
  • Maintain community and connection. Through online announcements, regular homeroom and special-area classes, and check-ins, the faculty and students maintain a sense of connection to their St. Philip’s community.
  • Support creation of family routines. Throughout the remote learning process, it is important for families to establish learning routines, as this constant helps children adapt to their changed learning environment. Each class creates weekday school schedules to help with this process. Families may read the Parent Partnership section below for resources related to establishing home-based learning routines.

Transferring to a remote learning environment requires a paradigm shift, which in turn requires teachers to evaluate students’ measures of success. Throughout this process, teachers emphasize participation and progress toward skills acquisition. As students, faculty, and families acclimate to remote learning, expectations will evolve and adjust accordingly.

Remote Learning Overview

The Remote Learning Process

What are the goals of remote learning at St. Philip’s Episcopal School?

The goals of remote learning are to continue the learning, to leverage existing technology tools, to maintain community and connections, and to support the creation of family routines during the School’s closure.

What does a remote learning day look like?

See a sample schedule.

How will students receive work?

See the Family Guide to Remote Learning.

St. Philip’s uses its existing online learning platforms as the primary points of communication:

  • Teachers send class-wide emails the previous evening before the work is to be completed. Some classes utilize Google Classroom to post assignments, links, and content, in addition to the nightly emails.
  • Additionally, individual teaching teams may choose to use other platforms or apps to extend student learning. Those may include tools such as IXL, eSpark Learning, Khan Academy, Scholastic, and Reflex Math, depending on the grade level.

When will work be posted?

All assignments are communicated to families for the following day’s work. A week-at-a-glance schedule is provided by the homeroom teachers before the start of the school week. This week-at-a-glance is subject to change depending on student progress.

Student Expectations

Are these days mandatory?

The Florida Department of Education requires a minimum of 170 school days. Remote school days require a different kind of dedication, attention, and work from both students and teachers. Attendance is taken through each student’s continued progress within the online class environment. St. Philip’s faculty appreciate parental support of their child’s effort in this regard. Like a traditional school day, each child receives an age-appropriate amount of work to complete each day with clear due dates, lessons, instructions, feedback, help mechanisms, and assessments.

Will students have class every day?

Students have class each weekday. As noted above, the goal is to continue the learning process without overwhelming students or families. To that end, students do not have assignments in every class each day. Each division (Early Childhood and Lower School) shares its daily schedule with families. As students, faculty, and families acclimate to remote learning, teachers may find it necessary to adjust schedules.

What is expected?

Remote learning takes many forms depending on grade level and subject area. Learning experiences vary in ways that are developmentally appropriate. These experiences look and feel different than a student’s typical in-class experiences. For example, as teachers modify their content to fit a remote learning framework, students may be assigned to read books, work on independent projects, meet via Google Hangouts, watch online videos, complete activities with family members, physically exercise, create art, etc. Faculty work with families so that they know how best to support their children in their learning.

How will work be graded?

During remote learning, grading, assessment, attendance, and homework may be different than the typical in-class framework. Participation and effort are key factors in the grading process, and the objective is to help students focus on fully participating to the best of their abilities rather than on grades.

How will attendance be tracked?

When learning occurs remotely, teachers log assignments and activities to verify attendance.

What if a student is sick?

If a student is ill, the School prefers for the student to rest and recover. If a child is sick during remote learning, families should email the homeroom teacher(s) and the School Nurse, Stephanie Begert, each morning of the illness. All communication with the School Nurse is confidential.

How will Art, Foreign Language, Music, P.E., Science, Sacred Studies, Coding, and other Special-area classes be handled?

Art, Foreign Language, Music, P.E., Science, Sacred Studies, Coding, and other Special-area classes are incorporated into the weekly school schedules.

Communication

How will teachers communicate with families?

In Early Childhood, teachers communicate with parents via Seesaw and via email.

In the Lower School, teachers primarily communicate with parents via Google Hangouts and email. If circumstances warrant an individual phone call, the teacher(s) schedule one at a mutually acceptable time during the School day.

How will teachers communicate with students?

In Early Childhood, teachers email assignments the previous evening before the work is to be completed. Some classes utilize Google Classroom to post assignments, links, and content, in addition to the nightly emails.

In the Lower School, teachers email assignments the previous evening before the work is to be completed. Some classes utilize Google Classroom to post assignments, links, and content, in addition to the nightly emails. Grade-level check-ins are scheduled at the same time each day, and students receive the hours during which teachers are available to provide assistance. To facilitate teacher/student communication, 3rd – 5th grade students should use their St. Philip’s-provided student email addresses in the following format:

                       firstinitiallastname@saintphilips.net

Will the School solicit feedback from families on how remote learning is working from their perspective?

Yes. The School holds focus groups for the Early Childhood classes, and the Leadership Team checks in with families on an individual basis.

Parent & Student Support

Whom can families contact with questions?

St. Philip’s is committed to supporting its students and families. Much like a regular school day, if families have questions regarding technology, they should contact the Technology Team. In order to inquire about a student’s assignment, the parent and/or student should contact their teacher. If families have questions of a general nature, they are best addressed to the Interim Assistant Head of School, Mr. Orlando Greene.

If students receive accommodations at St. Philip’s, will those continue?

As much as possible, the School continue to provide the academic or organizational support a student receives.

  • An Early Childhood student who has a student support plan on file at the School is supported by their homeroom teacher.
  • A Lower School student who has a diagnosis learning difference, and who has a student support plan on file at the school, will continue to receive appropriate support.

If students receive tutoring or music lessons during the school day, will those arrangements continue?

Parents who contract with third parties for tutoring or lessons are responsible for making alternative arrangements directly with the tutors or instructors.

Are counseling services available?

Yes. Families may contact the St. Philip’s School Counselor, Molli Robbins, directly to receive support. All communication with Molli Robbins is confidential.

Family Partnership

How can families support their child’s learning during this time?

When St. Philip’s students are asked to engage in online learning due to circumstances that require physical school closure, the School recognizes this can be a hardship for families. During remote learning, parents and caregivers support students’ meaningful engagement in learning through online means. The tips and tools offered here identify specific actions parents and caregivers can take to promote continuous learning when away from the physical school.

  • They can ensure their child has access to technology and a comfortable space to work. St. Philip’s recognizes that families have different resources available at home. The School works with students and families individually to ensure that all learning opportunities are equitably available for all students. If families have specific concerns about their technology resources (computers, iPads, Internet access, etc.), they should email the Director of Technology, Mr. Edward Diaz.
  • Establish realistic expectations and school-like routines. Students may view this as a vacation and avoid completing work. If so, this could become a frustrating experience as s/he falls behind academically and views schoolwork as optional. While there is more flexibility within a given day, weekdays are still school days with expectations for engaging in learning. For health and academic reasons, families should make every effort to ensure appropriate bedtimes, sleep, nutrition, and exercise routines.
  • Anticipate frustrations and celebrate growth. The early days of remote learning may have their challenges. Technology may fall short on speed and connectivity; assignments may be lost or need further clarification; or lessons may not work out as expected. Remote learning requires patience and self-regulation from everyone involved – adults and students alike. Families should help their child(ren) navigate the new process by planning for daily work time. As the days progress, families should offer their child(ren) time to reflect, express feelings, and grow comfortable with the routine and process.

For families with multiple students attending St. Philip’s, how can they help each of them each day?

Faculty create units and lessons that allow students to be as self-directed as possible. Younger students need the most assistance, but their work is also the least time-consuming. If a family is having trouble balancing the support needs of multiple children, they may reach out to the Interim Assistant Head of School, Mr. Orlando Greene.

What resources are available to help establish home-based learning routines?

Families are encouraged and recommended to create a schedule and maintain a routine. There are many formats being shared online that families can use as starters. The following link provides an example:

  • Daily Home Schedule, from Board Certified Behavioral Analyst, Dana Howell, owner of Behavioral Interventions and Solutions (BIAS.com).

Below is a portion from a blog post written by Dr. Cathy Schaefer, a licensed school psychologist with a specialization in Early Childhood Studies, that may help families craft a schedule.

  1. Wake up at a set time every day. No, you don’t have to try and get up in the dark hours of the morning, but don’t let them sleep until noon either.
  1. Get ready for the day. Everyone needs to change out of their pajamas. Staying in pajamas continues the mindset of a lazy day.
  1. Set a schedule for the day that incorporates academic time, leisure activities, physical activity, and alone time.
  1. Write or print the schedule where everyone can see it. Just as important as making the schedule, is making sure that everyone knows what to expect for the day. Routine gives children a feeling of stability in what is arguably, a very unstable time. It also eliminates constant questioning of what they need to do next or interruptions when you are also trying to complete your own work at home.
  1. Put away the phones during academic time. Putting it face down on the desk is not good enough. Everyone needs to put their phone into a basket or cabinet so that they can concentrate. Check out this great article by Yale’s Child Mind Institute about how multitasking with phones affects executive function skills, especially for people with ADHD. (Schaefer, 2020).

Digital Citizenship

How can families keep their child safe in a remote learning environment?

  • If a student is using a St. Philip’s-issued iPad, there are set restrictions on the device to help manage online access. Families are encouraged to establish the habit of checking online activity each evening by looking at search history in the browser, if enabled (e.g. Safari, Google, Chrome).
  • If a student is using a family-owned device, families are recommended to set restrictions and monitor search history and screen time.
  • Some teachers use Google Hangouts for class video conferences. In those instances, the teacher(s) and students can be viewable and heard, although students are requested to mute their microphones until asked to speak. St. Philip’s remote learning classes will continue with this approach until further notice.
  • In 2019, the School Home Association (SHA) invited U.S. district attorney, Mrs. Barbara Martinez, along with a current Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent to discuss some ways for families to protect their children on the Internet. Families may click on the following links for more information:
  • Families are encouraged to set up parental controls on their at-home devices as a key part of keeping students safe while using the Internet. The St. Philip’s Technology Team put together this list of links to help guide families in setting up their devices.
  • St. Philip’s Technology Team’s recommended Internet Safety Resources:
    • Common Sense Media Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology
    • Child Rescue Coalition Our Mission: Empowering children and families to help prevent child sexual abuse, abductions, and victimization through educational programs, community awareness, and strategic partnerships.
    • Cyberbullying Prevention When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.

Technology Responsible Use Policy (RUP) – (Formerly, the Acceptable Use Policy, or AUP)

Use of technology resources provided by St. Philip’s – whether that usage occurs on or off campus – is a privilege governed by the Technology Responsible Use Policy (RUP). All students and their families are expected to understand and abide by the RUP. Violation of any aspect of the RUP may result in disciplinary action, including expulsion from school and civil and/or criminal prosecution, to be determined by members of the St. Philip’s Leadership Team.

Considerations for Online Communication

Through St. Philip’s digital citizenship curriculum from Common Sense Media, students learn that all online communication should be thoughtful and polite. Communication with others during remote learning is considered academic in nature, and as such, students’ academic communication is expected to be respectful and written using age-appropriate language. Online behavior should be guided by the St. Philip’s Family Handbook and the Technology Responsible Use Policy.

Using Google Classroom

Google Classroom

Students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade are using Google Classroom to manage, create, and share their work with their teachers. Google Classroom should already be added to the student’s portal. To view a Quick Guide to using Google Classroom click here.

Guide to Using Google Hangouts

Guide to Using Google Hangouts

St. Philip’s has chosen to use Google Hangouts as the medium for its remote learning environment. Google Hangouts offers students a safe and secure platform to collaborate, learn, and share with their homeroom and special-area teachers. Families may read the quick reference guide on how to join and use Google Hangouts here.