KingisHome, our remote learning program
King School continues to support learning, connections, and balance through KingIsHome
It is hard to believe that a few months ago we were together on campus, in classrooms, on the stage, and on the playing fields. This new normal happened quickly, as COVID-19 spread worldwide, but administrators and the expert faculty at King School were ready. By preparing during the two weeks of a scheduled spring break and by leveraging our strong technology infrastructure, King was able to launch KingIsHome, a robust remote learning program, on Monday, March 30. Even while we are social distancing, KingIsHome is rooted in our commitment to prioritizing the student experience through active engagement, balance, and staying connected as a community.
King’s approach to teaching and learning has not changed but rather it is because of our approach that KingIsHome is so successful. Our teachers know each of their students as an individual -- using their students' interests, learning patterns, and personal goals as part of lesson planning and course selections -- all directed towards creating a challenging experience for each learner. This approach to teaching and learning allows students to reach their personal best whether they are on campus or out of the classroom.
What does it mean to prioritize the student experience at King? KingIsHome offers multiple ways to actively engage students in academics, health and wellness, and co-curricular activities. Across all of these, we're offering multiple ways for students, teachers, parents, and alumni to connect and provide feedback so we can continue to provide the strongest experience.
King students thrive, both in the classroom and now, at home, as they embrace teaching and learning experiences that are age appropriate, spur self-discovery, and inspire greater ambitions. Our exceptional Faculty continue to maintain a commitment to flexible curriculum design and are keenly committed to helping students achieve their personal best during this critical time.
Each week, during KingIsHome, students have the opportunity for asynchronous learning, when all students can access assignments and work at their own pace; and synchronous learning, where a group of students learn the same thing at the same time, usually on a video platform. Utilizing asynchronous methods, for example, young students are accessing math problems on Dreambox, while Upper School students are creating an illustrated children's book using Photoshop in Advanced Art. Grade 7 students are filming videos to illustrate the states of matter phase changes, and our Upper School band is making music using the Acapella App. During synchronous learning, Grade 8 students conduct a virtual meeting of a History class and discuss crisis events in US history, which also provided hope and inspiration during our present crisis; Middle School students share the ‘Do Now’ warm up question on Google Classroom; our entire Lower School connects through a weekly assembly; and our Middle and Upper School students interact daily with their advisories.
King parent Lucy Heaton, of Waccabuc, NY, comments, “My children’s teachers at King are going above and beyond trying to find ways to reach each student both individually and in classes. It is all quite remarkable. My children treasure their one on one relationships with teachers so this situation has been a particularly challenging area for them and the reason we chose King in the first place. I am so thankful that King's desire to connect with our children is still there.”
In addition to our academic focus, we’ve taken careful consideration of our community’s personal situations and circumstances, and the significant shifts to our lives and schedules. It has become even more important that we take steps to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, to come together (albeit remotely) as often as possible, and to find balance to our days. King’s committed athletic department team and tremendous spring coaching staff have developed a dynamic remote training and wellness program to help our students engage, connect, and stay active.
Dr. Karen Eshoo, Head of School, adds, “During KingIsHome, our goal is to operate in ways that clearly are consistent with our values and practices. We continue to make decisions based on our expertise as educators, and we align everything we do with King's mission, values, and virtues. My colleagues work hard every day to be the best teachers and sounding boards they can for our students and families. We all know that we never worry alone at King School, and that we model for our students ways to offer and accept support from those in our community. This is why King is such an extraordinary place: colleagues, parents, and students actively choose to work together to make things work… beautifully.”
Finally, as we work together during KingIsHome, we continue to support our local community and each other. King Cares, our service program, provides opportunities for our students, parents, faculty, and alumni to connect with each other and local organizations to offer assistance in many different ways. Using the Elements of Everyday Health as our guide, we have identified five themes to practice each week: Move, Outreach, Nourish, Connect, Be. Several Alumni and Faculty are offering online yoga and meditation classes; students are sharing videos with a local senior center and families are delivering meals to Stamford Hospital; and we are always connecting with our local partner organizations, including Person-to-Person and Building One Community.
Junior Nico Camacho, of Greenwich, is making a difference during this pandemic by utilizing a King 3D printer to create face shields. "My inspiration for the project came from both my older brother and father who are on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. They both work at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx actively treating COVID patients in both the ICU and the ER. As this situation progressed I did not want to stand idly by rather I wanted to ensure I was playing my role in helping and making a difference.”
King School continues to set better standards which lead to engaged, healthier students who have a greater sense of purpose; who remain curious to learn; and who are guided by a deep understanding of themselves as learners, whether we are on campus or at home.