In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the Governor's mandate that all Virginia school campuses close, St. Louis began actively engaging in eLearning on March 17th. The teachers had two days to prep and plan as they moved their instruction online, and they did a fantastic job of adapting to a virtual world for teaching and learning.
For 12 weeks, our remote classrooms became places where teachers reinforced concepts, skills, and key learning objectives as well as taught new ones essential for grade promotion. Teachers taught both synchronously and asynchronously and incorporated digital tools like Flipgrid, Padlet, Google classroom, IXL, Khan Academy, Newsela, and so much more—they became proficient with technology and most especially Zoom as a means to keep instruction rigorous while ensuring mastery happened as best as it could in the given situation.
In addition, our counseling and resource teams have been working diligently and closely with students, teachers, and parents to ensure all learning is equitable while attending to the needs of the whole child. We adjusted our e-Learning model to include important social-emotional learning as we recognized the global pandemic left our students and families feeling anxious, uncertain, and scared. Our SEL Fridays allowed students to make choices about their learning and gave parents the opportunity to attend virtual workshops with local experts who provided excellent advice on how to successfully navigate the pandemic with children.
Our mission is to provide our students with a faith-filled academic program that balances appropriate rigor with spiritual lessons in virtuous behaviors. Whether in the brick and mortar classroom or virtually, our faculty and staff worked hard to keep our mission the same. We are taking advantage of the lessons learned and using that to craft a plan that continues to root our students in their faith, while offering them every opportunity to grow in Christ. As we look to the 2020-21 school year, we are actively planning and thinking forward in accordance with state and local health recommendations as well as those of the Diocese of Arlington Office of Catholic Schools. We are committed to a plan that keeps the safety, health, and well being of every student and adult as our top priority.