Academics

Distance Learning

Distance Learning Program

Episcopal High School’s distance learning program aims to continue the teaching and learning excellence that is the hallmark of an Episcopal education. Even when students and faculty cannot gather physically in the classroom, our technology offers innovative and meaningful ways to keep us fully engaged in the School’s mission and fully connected as a community.

We recognize that distance learning cannot replicate the classroom experience, as content and skills will be delivered in different ways. However, our teachers and students already use many of the technologies and resources that will be the foundation of our work during the time we are apart, and the work itself will be familiar to students: They will continue to read a variety of texts, write thoughtful essays, solve complex problem sets, do multi-step labs, and create inspiring art.

Through this plan, we hope to strengthen the partnership between the School and its parents while we maintain the continuity of learning for the students. It provides:
  • Class schedules and other times when our teachers and students will connect;
  • Academic guidelines during distance learning;
  • Details about the digital resources and teaching methods we will use; and
  • Guidelines for students and parents.
Because EHS students live all over the world and across time zones, we have developed a plan that includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences. During a synchronous learning event, a group of students engages in learning simultaneously. With asynchronous learning, students work on assigned tasks and lessons on their own time — like writing a journal assignment, answering a series of questions or problems, or watching a video or screencast. Through a combination of “live” synchronous meetings and self-guided asynchronous learning, students will not only maintain continuity in their coursework but also discover new and powerful ways of learning.

Distance Learning Weekly Schedule, Starting March 23

Guidelines for Students and Parents

List of 8 items.

  • Set up a productive learning space

    If possible, we recommend that students find a quiet space that is relatively free from distractions. It should be a place where they have access to all school materials and can maintain strong internet access. Students’ time in front of a screen will certainly increase while learning at home, but they will also need space to take notes and work on problem sets, etc. 
  • Establish a consistent daily routine

    Our students will be learning in time zones around the world, but no matter where they are, they should set up a consistent daily approach to their studies during the week. Consistency will be important as they manage their synchronous class schedule as well as their asynchronous assigned work. Establishing regular and consistent wake-up times, study hours, and bedtimes will help students manage the independence of distance learning.
  • Track daily progress

    Parents can and should start the day with a check-in to ensure that their students can articulate their daily schedule and plan for completing assigned work. It will also be useful for parents to finish the learning day with a final check-in to hear about progress that students made and to discuss challenges they encountered.
  • Include regular breaks and physical activity during the learning day

    Because students will be using their computers to access much of the classroom content and instruction, it will be important for them to regularly unplug and be as active as possible. In between class meetings, students should step away from their computers and reset for the next subject. Finding ways to get outside and stay active will help students stay energized, focused, and positive.
  • Communicate with teachers and advisors

    There will inevitably be challenges, questions, and technical issues that arise as students adapt to learning remotely. Knowing that the transition for students will require assistance, we want students to communicate directly with their teachers and advisors. Email, virtual meetings, and phone calls are all good options. The schedule creates several “office hour” periods scheduled into the week when students will be able to access their teachers and advisors, and they should take full advantage of those times.
  • Stay connected to EHS supports

    Students can and should reach out to the adults on campus who normally offer them support. For academic support, students shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to teachers, advisors, the Academic Support Center, tutors, or even fellow classmates. Students who are enrolled in DASH will be contacted by the learning specialists about setting up regular appointment times. Our counselors and chaplains are also ready and willing to connect and work virtually with students who might be in need of support. As always, the adults on campus are ready and willing to partner with parents to make sure that students are getting the resources that they need.
  • Work through challenges positively and proactively

    One of the most valuable aspects of distance learning is that it forces students to approach tasks in new and different ways. We encourage students to embrace the new challenges of learning and problem solving, knowing that developing resilience will be one of the most important skills they can take away from this experience. Students will, no doubt, encounter some difficulties and frustrations as they adapt to the new technology and schedule; we encourage them to stay positive and communicative as they work through the challenges that they will face.
  • Stay in touch with friends and classmates

    Students will see each other in virtual classes, and they will collaborate on projects from a distance, but we also want them to make an effort to stay socially connected and involved. The deep sense of community at Episcopal is something that makes life here so meaningful and rewarding, and we encourage students to support each other during this time of physical distance.

Schedule and Academic Information

List of 5 items.

  • The first day of classes

    On Sunday, March 22, advisors will send students an email explaining how to download the Webex Meeting app and join their first virtual meeting, which will take place on Monday morning at 9:15 EST. Webex Meetings is the video-conferencing platform that we will use during distance learning. In that first Monday morning Virtual Advisory, advisors will check in with advisees to help them prepare for classes and become familiar with Webex Meetings.
  • Class time

    There will be two synchronous (“live”) learning periods per course per week. Teachers will be available at these times and will use these blocks to gather the class in a Webex Meeting. That time might be used for content delivery or a class discussion, but it might also be used as a time for teachers to assist students with their asynchronous work (recorded screencasts, writing prompts, practice problems, guided reading, virtual labs, etc.)
  • Office hours

    Each week, there will also be a devoted Office Hour for each class block when the teacher will be available to students. The Open Office Hours blocks will also be available for students to access teachers. Connecting with teachers can certainly happen outside of these daily allotted times, but office hours will be the most common and convenient time for one-on-one meetings.
  • Homework

    Students should set aside time during the day and in the evenings to complete the asynchronous assignments that are posted on Canvas class pages. Much of the work that students will do while distance learning will be “asynchronous,” meaning that they will be able to perform their tasks at their own pace and on their own time.  Many asynchronous assignments will be graded, and they will also serve as indicators of student activity and engagement. Teachers will continue to utilize both formative and summative assessments to help students learn. Normal homework guidelines will apply to each class — two hours per week per class and three hours per week for advanced and honors classes.
  • Attendance

    During this period of distance learning, students will be expected to attend all of their scheduled classes as well as the Virtual Advisory block. Teachers will continue to track attendance. For students unable to make a synchronous class meeting because of differences in time zone or other complications, any essential information from those learning periods will be recorded and made accessible on Canvas. In addition, Chapel services will be made available to students at noon on Mondays and Fridays, and we hope that the whole community will tune in at that time or whenever they are able to watch.