Due to Health Related School Closures, PV Transitions to Virtual Learning Model
8 March 2020
Passaic Valley students and staff have been participating in online learning since March 16, 2020. To slow the spread of COVID-19, schools around New Jersey closed to ensure the safety of their students and staff. School needed to create and implement a new way of learning that could be accomplished from home. To do so, Passaic Valley planned the Passaic Valley Virtual Learning Model.
When planning the new learning model, the administration had several areas of focus: how to get medical related information to everyone, how the school would run, what would happen with activities and athletics, how to support the school facility needs with cleaning and sanitizing the building, how to share information with everyone, and how to stay connected with the students.
“Everyone in Administration helped with the plan. I can't say enough of how proud I am of everyone who got on board as quickly as we did to make all of this happen and for it to be successful,” said Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Cardillo. “It took about one week to get it all together, and we are always looking to improve our work to make it better for students to learn”.
It has certainly been an adjustment for students to transition to online, but each week of the remote learning model becomes easier to manage. Remote learning places more responsibility on students to manage their time and engage in the lessons posted on Google Classroom each day. Many students have embraced this freedom. “I enjoy online learning, because I can do my assignments at my own pace and in the order that I please” says junior Teresa Payne.
Teachers have also had to make a major adjustment in the ways they conduct their classes. Teachers are required to provide students with content each day and find new ways to keep the students engaged and wanting to learn. A large part of a regular school day that is absent from online learning is face to face interaction. “I think this aspect is a very key part of school and it is truly missed during this time where we are all at home,” said Math Teacher Ms. Lori Quail. “The interpersonal component is definitely key to learning.”
In order to combat this issue, some teachers send videos of their lessons for students to follow along, and some even conduct lessons over programs like Google Hangouts or Zoom to provide a more authentic class experience for the students. “My favorite tool teachers are using is Google Hangouts, because it allows us to actually talk to our teachers,” added Payne.
Overall, the Passaic Valley Virtual Learning Model is running successfully and is allowing PV students to learn as best as they can while at home. “While we did not expect to be in this situation, and I am so sad about this national crisis, I am very impressed with how teachers and students have adapted to the Passaic Valley Online Learning Model,” said Dr. Cardillo.