RPS Prepares for Remote Learning
As Rutgers Prep prepares to engage in remote learning beginning on March 30th, our teachers have dedicated themselves over Spring Break to enhancing their home classrooms, training in the newest remote learning technologies and resources, and developing creative approaches.
“We are eager, we are excited, and we are ready,” said Headmaster Steve Loy in a video message sent to parents. “What matters has come sharply into focus. Family matters, kindness and generosity matter, health matters, and most importantly, community matters.”
Though the daily schedule and virtual classroom will look different in each division, the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools have been working closely together to make sure that the school upholds its commitment to individual support and excellence in education.
“The strategies and methods [the Lower School teachers] will use to present curriculum while assuring an atmosphere where every child’s needs are heard, met, and addressed will undoubtedly make for a successful transition and a continued great year,” said Kathie Rusyn, RPS Lower School principal.
The Lower School will begin and end each day with an opportunity to meet live via video chat. "Our goal is to begin and end each day with teachers and classmates together, giving the opportunity for questions or simply meaningful talk among students,” said Rusyn. Additionally, the Lower School has set up a library of video resources, on a range of topics, including STEAM, Tech, Art, and Music, to help our youngest students stay active and engaged during the school day. Once the school day ends, the Lower School will also have activities prepared to run an interactive After School Program with students.
In the Middle School, class learning will be a combination of synchronous activities and activities the students will complete on their own. Teachers will gather feedback from students to refine the activities and learning methods. In addition, teachers will offer virtual office hours to provide additional support and extra help to students.
"This will be an opportunity for your child to practice the independent learning skills we have been developing all year,” said Bob Marotto, Middle School principal, in a letter home to parents. "Our goal in the coming weeks is to provide robust and exciting Remote Learning experiences...We appreciate the partnership that allows us to educate your child and we are here for you as you need us.”
In the Upper School, instruction will come in the form of projects, videos, online discussions and chats, posted course content and video conferencing. "We have designed this program to include a mix of scheduled class instruction and discussion, independent activity, and regular student self-paced completion of assignments,” said Joe Chodl, Upper School principal.
From the sciences to the arts, Upper School teachers are already planning innovative approaches to their material. Advanced Placement Environmental Science students will be participating in a participate in a "bioblitz" by taking photos of wild organisms (plants, arthropods, mammals, birds, fungi, even house pests) that they encounter inside and outside and posting them to the website iNaturalist. On this site, naturalists from around the world will help them identify the species, then their observations will be part of a global citizen science database of the distribution of living things.
Statistics students will be diving into concepts like standard deviation and statistical dispersion, with a topical focus on the decision to postpone the Summer Olympics. They will compare this with prior decisions to cancel the Olympic Games during the World Wars versus postponing for the coronavirus.
Finally, as spring break draws to a close, we wanted to share how excited we are to begin remote learning. Please enjoy this message from the Rutgers Prep faculty as they look forward to welcoming students into their home classrooms!
- Remote Learning