American Heritage School

CONCURRENT LEARNING AND SAFETY AT THE NATION’S TOP PRIVATE SCHOOL

During a Q&A interview, questions here were answered by Dr. Laurie as he gave insight on the new changes that have been implemented during the school year.

How is concurrent learning taking place at American Heritage? How are you optimizing the classrooms for safety?

Concurrent learning is working very well. Although it’s some extra work on our teachers, they have been amazing and our parents and students are really happy because they have a lot of flexibility during these difficult times. The classrooms have been maximized to optimize social distancing; teachers have a plastic shield around their desk. The classes are fogged twice per day with a safe-to-humans virucide. The student desks are sanitized after each class. We have a mandatory mask policy and have installed UV filtration units in all air conditioners.

How did you train your teachers to be successful in the new environment and elevate the student experience?

Our Technology Curriculum Directors at both campuses gave extensive training during the summer to our teachers, plus over 100 teachers taught in our summer online program which served over 1,000 students. That experience gave them onthe- job training for the start of the school year in the fall.

What is the feedback from families and teachers?

I am personally calling many families and they are thrilled. The flexibility of concurrent learning allows for a child who learns best from the in-person experience to be here or a family that needs online learning to do so. We are being very flexible to help fit the needs of our families. I am very proud of my staff for creating such an incredible academic atmosphere.

What are the positives and negatives to this situation?

The positive is that we have found ways to educate that we didn’t realize would be possible and have found practices that we will continue past the pandemic. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. The negative is, of course, the pain that some of our families are experiencing during this very difficult time.

How likely are we to return to full in-classroom learning again in the near future?

We are currently doing full in-classroom learning. Concurrent learning allows for that. The teacher is teaching online and in-person at the same time using our streaming camera and monitor technology. Of course, parents have a choice between their child attending physical classes or virtually, depending upon the pandemic. However, post-COVID we may continue concurrent learning in a limited fashion with other protocols and pedagogical techniques. As a school, our eyes have been opened to some really effective ways to educate and serve our students.

By: DR. DOUGLAS LAURIE
PRESIDENT, AMERICAN HERITAGE SCHOOL
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