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  • Stephen Rubenacker

Is Your Child’s School Prepared for Distance Learning?

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has certainly demonstrated the importance of schools’ embracing the “teachable moment”—those opportunities where an unplanned event or classroom discussion gives teachers a chance to offer impromptu insights to their students, and this pandemic has proven to be one whopper of an unplanned event, providing a teachable moment both to teachers and administrators.

At The Bridges Academy we’ve discovered the importance of having a distance learning plan in place should emergencies arise.

We’ve seen how schools—including many excellent institutions right here on Long Island—have struggled to implement those plans. For Bridges, however, the transition to teaching remotely, while not without its challenges, has been a relatively smooth one for a variety of reasons, as though we were built for the challenges posed by the coronavirus and ready to adapt to the circumstances at hand. All of our teachers from Early Childhood through 8th grade were fully engaged in the process, with our school days being well utilized for effective instruction.

1. We’re a Small School with Big Classrooms

Our small class sizes ensure the most productive learning environment possible. Now, with the need for better social distancing, our class sizes will prove to be even more beneficial. Being a small school makes us nimble in our approach. We can add classrooms to ensure social distancing or we can shrink them if needed. Any adjustments we make can be done quickly and effectively.

2. Our Independence Allows for Flexibility

Like the rest of New York, Bridges is adhering to the decisions and guidelines of the state and our local health officials. But one of our strengths as an independent school is that we are not beholden to teachers unions, caught up in bureaucratic red tape, or leaping one public school hurdle after another. We have the freedom to adjust our curriculum and methods in order to put our kids and their education first, no matter where our schooling occurs.

3. We Are Technologically Savvy

The entire team at Bridges Academy, from administrators to educators, is committed to using technology and innovation as a learning tool. Over the last year, we made a significant investment in Chromebooks, which has paid great dividends in this time of remote learning. Our teachers are already comfortable with online teaching resources and so are our students, which greatly reduced our response time to this pandemic. Bridges began its Distance Learning program within days, while many public schools took nearly a month to catch up. Our program will continue to grow and improve as the need develops.

One of the greatest aids in helping us overcome the obstacles created by the COVID crisis has been the strong relationships among our dedicated team and the kids and families of our community. Communication has been key to the successful transition to distance learning. We’ve personally reached out to check on the students’ progress, academically and emotionally. We’ve listened to parents’ concerns that their kids may fall behind and have assured them that each child is on track with their academics and 

will be ready for next year.

While this pandemic is certainly not the “teachable moment” anyone would ask for, what we’ve learned here at The Bridges Academy is that we have the expert personnel and resources to weather these storms and that we’ll come out of this a stronger and better school for it. If you want to learn more about us and what our K–8 school can offer your child, contact us today.

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