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Staying true to Goal II

Goal+II+virtually

and Victoria Toledo ‘23

How each Carrollton School has continued its commitment to the education of young girls in these unprecedented times.

Carrollton students began the 2019-2020 school year with high hopes and enthusiasm, just like every year. They envisioned a complete year, where they would enjoy activities, while growing in their education. However, on March 13, 2020, the school year was officially cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The obstacles the Carrollton community faced did not stop the students’ commitment to learning consistent with Goal II – “a deep respect for intellectual values.”

Montessori and Primary educators were particularly challenged – having to teach students as young as three. These girls are not old enough to understand what is going on, and are not accustomed to the technology as older students are. Montessori and Primary School Director, Mrs. Consuegra explained, “Our Primary teachers have been teaching synchronously since the 2nd week of remote learning in their core subjects – they are online every day with their students. The encore classes started later and not to their full schedule but a lighter schedule and also synchronous.” She continued, “Montessori has had the greatest challenges because of the age of the students we teach and the parents having to be so involved since the students are so little. We have been teaching a combination of synchronous and asynchronous and it is working for our students.”

Montessori School home learning

Second Grade teacher, Mrs. Jones explained, “Virtual learning has definitely pushed and propelled me to learn technology quickly. Professionally, it has challenged me to think out of the box and be quick on my feet so that I can make virtual learning relevant, challenging and all the while implementing the Second Grade curriculum.” Mrs. Jones continued, “Goal ll can be seen every day when they sign in to our classroom. It has drawn out a thirst for learning and to find alternative ways to be critical novel thinkers… Goal ll has revealed itself by the way I continuously look how I can inspire my students and how I can enrich their new learning environment.”  While the change initially brought some setbacks, it came with other benefits. Third Grade teacher, Mrs. Connett elaborated, “Many of my students have become more independent and learned to collaborate more effectively. Their technology skills have radically improved and they have learned to problem solve their own tech issues.”

Virtual learning at the Primary School

The Intermediate School teachers were also challenged to make their classes creative and engaging through a virtual platform. “Virtual learning has challenged me as an educator. The biggest challenge has been staying connected with my students. At first, I felt a decline in connectedness with my students. The one-on-one moments were most impacted like the casual conversations around my desk during homeroom when students would share what was on their mind – when I could see in their eyes if they needed some reassurance or even just a hug. I quickly realized that we could still connect, just in a different way. I now make time to talk and touch base several times throughout the day with my students to share whatever is on our minds or just see each other and say hi,” wrote Fifth Grade teacher, Mrs. Diaz.

Intermediate School Director, Mrs. Gillingham explained how the entire school still lived out Goal II. She wrote, “That we continue to engage in class time in all of the subject areas is evidence that we value what each discipline has to offer.”

“My teachers, friends, and family are a great support system through this tough time. Although I cannot see my teachers, they still push me to learn and do my best to become the best person I can possibly be,” wrote Sela Travieso ‘26.

Intermediate School virtual learning

The Junior High community faced the challenge of preparing the students for the Upper School in a virtual environment. The faculty maintained the regular schedule while meeting online. Eighth Grade English teacher, Mrs. Scott explained, “I practice Goal II every time I sign on to a class meeting and let my students know that even though I miss seeing them face to face, we are still in school and education continues. I think they are finding that there are many ways to learn, and that learning doesn’t happen only in a classroom.”

Meeting online presented other benefits to the students such as strengthening their computer skills. Eighth Grade science teacher, Dr. Shulzitski explained, “The nature of virtual learning has forced students to become more independent and to take more responsibility for their own learning. I’ve seen most students grow tremendously in those skills over the past weeks. I think this will benefit them greatly in the long-term as these skills are crucial to success in life.”

Virtual learning in Junior HIgh

The Upper School made a daily effort to replicate a normal school day. Upper School Director, Mrs. Feerick-Hillenbrand wrote, “We have not missed a beat. We hit the ground running the first week and only began to ease up a bit right before Easter. Teachers in the Upper School have done an excellent job of adjusting to the new terrain with grace, and students have met the challenge with resilience.”

Mrs. Azan, Upper School English Department Head offered this, “It has been challenging not seeing my students, not ‘feeling’ the culture of the school or my classroom, but we still have much to teach and learn from each other and so we go on with great courage and confidence and love.”

Mrs. Cuza, Upper School Mathematics Department Head wrote, “We have continued to practice Goal II in much the same way that we do at school. I think that focusing on the importance of completing the school year with integrity has encouraged all members of the school community to embrace Goal II. The remote learning platform has made it imperative that we respect ourselves and others in our work on assessments and assignments, resisting the temptation to take shortcuts, even though there might not be anyone watching to make sure we act with integrity at every moment. The honor system is just that, on our honor that we are completing our own work.

“This time has demonstrated the importance of school and intellectual values, and it has shown me just how much our teachers do for us. It has also exemplified my responsibilities as a student,” wrote Margarita Miyares ‘22.

Upper School virtual learning

 

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