Teachers remained in school after hours last week at Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria. Not to grade papers, not to coach athletic teams, instead to prepare for online learning as the spread of COVID-19 has shut down in-person schooling across the state of Minnesota.
The decision was made to use Monday, March 16, 2020, as a practice run of sorts.
"Students are at home and we are running today as a typical day and checking that things are working for teachers and students, making sure communication is effective between teachers and students, and asking students and teachers to complete a survey so we can make adjustments and recommendations accordingly for our scheduled March 30 to April 3 online learning week," said Laura Podergois, Director of Content Strategy and Communication.
Spring break at Holy Family Catholic has been extended up to Wednesday, March 18. Tuesday, March 17, will be an additional day for teachers to prep based on feedback from today.
Also offered on March 17 is a Student Assistance Day for students who must make up Quarter 3 tests, quizzes, and/or presentations that cannot be accomplished from home. The hours of SAD are 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Podergois said last week teachers and students were able to practice during class sessions as well.
"Our students understand the importance of taking this practice day seriously, in order, to make any extended learning useful and applicable," Podergois said.
Teachers will be on site on Tuesday beginning at 7:30 a.m. to debrief about what worked really well and what they might change.
"Today ran like a typical school day; the online learning week will work a little differently," Podergois said. "Feedback from today's practice day has been very positive and our systems seem to be learning a lot."
As a "bring your own device school," students are using their own devices. Students without their own technology at home are being issued one from the school.