Passaic Valley Moves to Remote Learning Amid School Closures
Kassidy Fraser '22
9 April 2020
Due to COVID-19, Passaic Valley took the precaution to move to remote learning. Since March 16, students have been learning and doing their work from home through Google Classroom. There have been some challenges, but the program has been successful providing students with quality instruction.
Teachers post daily lessons on Google Classroom and their students are able to engage in the lesson and hand in any associated work through the site. Direct communication between the teachers and students is done electronically through email, video conferencing platforms, and Google Classroom posts.
“Google Classroom makes it a lot easier for this whole process to take place. Teachers get our questions right away," said sophomore Alessia Marotta. "It's the closest thing we have to a real classroom.”
Teachers have been given a lot of freedom in how to deliver their content and have been encouraged by administration to explore various avenues to determine their preferred method. Many teachers have been recording themselves lecturing while displaying slideshows. Teachers are required to post about forty minutes worth of instruction for the students each day, which is roughly a normal class period. This means students still receive six hours of learning each day.
Of course, as innovative as Passaic Valley's educators have been, there are some aspects of traditional classrooms that cannot be replaced or recreated, such as individual attention and face-to-face interaction. “It is easier to see where students are struggling in the classroom and how to help them,” said Italian Teacher Mrs. Rosanna Napolitano
Platforms like Google Hangouts and Zoom make this a bit easier. These sites allow an entire class to video chat. This means students can ask questions and receive more in-depth and individualized responses from teachers. If a teacher finds a particular lesson more difficult than others, they can teach the lesson on the video chat as well.
In the beginning, both students and teachers struggled adapting to the new style of learning. As time goes on, everyone seems to be adapting to the new methods of learning and teachers are able to provide students with proper materials more effectively.
“It was hard at first, but now I'm learning just as much as I did in a real classroom,” said sophomore Tessa Van Dam.