Bishop Seabury Academy

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Bishop Seabury Academy

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Once a Seahawk ... A PUBLICATION FOR ALUMNI, PARENTS, AND FRIENDS OF BISHOP SEABURY ACADEMY 2020 SUMMER Y ou might say that distance learning at Bishop Seabury Academy began on an international scale, as our two chief administrators were scrambling to return from a school trip to Greece that had been prematurely interrupted by an international travel ban. Subsequently, the initial discussion about school closures and online education began with an international Zoom call on March 13. The administration had one week for infrastructural planning (most of us in quarantine), and then the faculty returned from spring break with one week to completely transform the content and methodology for their courses. On Monday, March 30, we rolled out BSA Distance Learning. On a recent national independent school webinar, I heard a head of a school from the East Coast say, "I have never worked this hard in my entire life." I think the same could be said of most educators in the world right now. For teachers and administrators, this has been the challenge of a lifetime, blanketed in the anxiety of a world-wide pandemic and playing out at perhaps the most exhausting three months of the year! Fortunately, Seabury's faculty and staff are famously dedicated, talented, and creative, and they adapted quickly and effectively to this new learning format: restructuring the weekly class schedule; implementing a system of check-in meetings with students and a balanced structure of synchronous class sessions and asynchronous work; utilizing familiar and new online tools to transition course delivery and assessments to the DL platform; and injecting creativity, play, and outdoor time into the equation. Most importantly, we continued to maintain real and substantive learning while adjusting expectations to accommodate the inevitable strain for students working online in a time of heightened insecurity. Thanks to an intrepid student body and a supportive parent community, we were able to adapt to a new way of learning. This was a true community effort! Meanwhile, our absence from campus has allowed our construction team to accelerate the construction process, and the developing facilities are breathtaking. I earnestly wish that the students, parents, and teachers could step into the spacious high-roofed Commons and explore the new classrooms and the hallways that will bring them all together when we get back to campus. It will give them great hope for the future! At the very least, I know they have a tremendous and happy surprise waiting for them at the end of the summer. Dr. Don Schawang Head of School Bishop Seabury Swiftly Adapts to Distance Learning Emma and Edward Roman Nose and their cat Coco in class on Bring Your Pet to School Day. Mr. Nelson teaching his Chemistry class remotely. First Historic All-School Meeting on Zoom.

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