Life has changed for all of us in so many ways, but what hasn't changed is the commitment of the entire staff of Madeira City Schools to provide learning opportunities for our students. Our Remote Learning Program is in place and all student services, including mental health and counseling services, and lunch delivery, are still in place. Madeira City Schools aren’t closed, only our buildings are, and here are some of the ways that’s happening:
• Our third-grade teachers are using some great technology with their students. All classes have Zoom meetings on Tuesdays and multiple team Zoom meetings each week. Using Screencastify, teachers are able to read aloud chapter books to their classes, and use the productivity software Padlet for enrichment and extension activities. In their weekly newsletter, links are included for the Zoom meetings, teacher read alouds, and Padlet. The newsletter also has the downloadable PDF for their weekly learning packet.
• MHS French students submitted their interpretations of French Art, which staff member Nichole Gergen used in a live Kahoot class featuring French Art.
• Madeira Middle School’s LIGHT program promotes Leadership, Integrity, Generosity, Honesty, and Teamwork. The school held Virtual Spirit Week to give students an opportunity to earn points for Teamwork with a different spirit challenge every day. Students dressed up and emailed a picture or video to their homeroom teacher and were encouraged to wear their outfits to their zoom meetings that day. MMS students SHINED their LIGHTS from home!
• Madeira 4th grade students were working on this song before our Remote Learning Program began. They independently recorded themselves singing Best Day of My Life by American Authors and sent them to MES music teacher Tina Gutierrez who created this group song: Best Day of My Life
• Local author Loren Long joined Jonelle Bell's Kindergarten class in their Zoom meeting!
• MMS 5th & 6th Grade Choirs held a live virtual concert with teacher Micahel Grimm.
• MES fourth-graders took a virtual tour of the Ohio Statehouse to close up our study of government, made Ohio flags to hang in windows at home to support our great state, used "snail mail" to stay "care and connect" with each other and their teachers to keep writing skills sharp, completed a survey to "own" their learning and help their teachers plan for future weeks, and used Flipgrid to share their class read aloud and what they’ve been up to with fun videos.
(screenshots - links were live for students)
Creating and exploring Earth Day from home:
• MMS band classes are being held through Zoom with grade-level bands in ‘family’ groups of like instruments such as flutes and trumpets. Each instrument is its own family group or homogeneous group which is part of a larger group like woodwind, brass, or percussion. Students have also been offered private Zoom sessions for any student that may feel they need more time with their instructors Lori Adams and Wes Woolard.
• For every student in Grades 5-12, our district provides Chromebooks - an internet-connected device capable of accessing digital learning materials. These devices are an academic lifeline for students/parents, especially during remote learning circumstances. The technology department is continuing to support student devices, even during closures, to ensure all students have the access they need to connect with teachers, view/complete assignments, and keep in touch with district news/updates. If students don't have internet/WIFI access at home, building administrators and counselors are working with those families to find low or no-cost solutions to support all in the district.
• Schoology is a K-12 Learning Management System that has been in place at Madeira City Schools for several years. As we moved to a distance learning plan, all our teachers were already trained, skilled, and experienced with the platform. Schoology allows teachers to create engaging content, design lessons, and assess student understanding. Teachers were already using Schoology to post updates and announcements, digital assignments, tests and assessments, and discussion boards to provide anywhere/anytime access to all of their learning content whenever it's needed. Teachers create student groups, assign work, link academic standards, and more. Students can view and complete work, check their grades, message their teachers, and track their progress over their entire academic career. Parents monitor their child's progress, communicate with teachers/administrators, view district/school announcements, and access the course calendar at any time. This comprehensive learning platform boosts district-wide collaboration and supports remote learning.
• The district is using the video conferencing tool Zoom to host staff meetings, remote learning classes, and open office hours. Zoom supports up to 100 participants, a shared group chat, moderator functions, screen sharing, annotation and more. Zoom is a comprehensive video conferencing tool that allows people to connect, share, and discuss over the internet regardless of physical distance, and for teachers to connect with students. As of April 2 all sessions default to a virtual waiting room where the host must admit each participant to keep sessions private.
• At Madeira Elementary School, grade level learning packets were distributed and upcoming assignments are shared on Sunday via email to parents. Teachers use apps such as Seesaw, a platform for student engagement which allows teachers to collect work and give direct private feedback to students. For students in grades 5-12, assignments are posted on Schoology. Learning activities and assignments are developmentally appropriate in length and breadth; what students would typically be asked to complete in their classroom as a review, reinforcement, or extension of information already instructed by their teacher in a prior classroom experience.
As always, be sure to check the Madeira City Schools Coronavirus Updates on the district website for the latest information. You will find each of our district updates as well as a FAQ document with helpful links and resources.
A big thank you to our faculty and staff, students, and parents for helping us navigate this new normal!
Pictured: Madeira classes connect for lessons via Zoom video conferencing