A Peek Inside PCA During Distance Learning

On March 13, with the threat of COVID–19 increasing in our area, we made the decision as a school to prepare for distance learning. This call was made just days before New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the temporary closure of schools. Over that same weekend, PCA teachers and administrators prepared for distance learning, and by Tuesday March 17, the temporary shift to distance learning had begun. Distance learning has been an adjustment for the PCA community, but continuing to maximize student potential, regardless of the situation, has remained our priority.  

What does online learning look like for our students? We’ve outlined some key areas of distance learning to give you a peek inside PCA during this unique time.  

The learning continues – it just looks a little different! 

Just because we can’t be in our classrooms during this season of social distancing, doesn’t means that learning instruction needs to stop! Learning continues daily at PCA via Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other platforms. Assignments are no longer submitted in hard-copy form, but rather through video, photo, or online forms. Our teachers and students (and parents!) have adjusted to a host of new technologies and processes, and in no time, we hit our stride and are adjusting well to this new routine.  

This new approach to learning has prompted our families to exercise creativity in new ways! We’ve seen chickens (yes – real, live chickens) show up during show-and-tell, hands-on learning extending into back yards and kitchens, and gym class turn into family fitness fun. 

Check out this video compilation of photos and videos that PCA families have shared to see a true peek inside PCA during distance learning! 

Maintaining community requires creativity! 

It’s important that the compassionate community that is a hallmark of the PCA experience remains strong. Because of that, we’ve committed to building community in as many ways as possible. For our students, it starts in places like the PCA Community Teams page, where Upper School students and faculty and staff share updates, encouragement, and humor (often in the form of gifs, memes and videos!). Community is fostered through group challenges, like Mr. Foley’s talent show challenge (if 50 students share their talent on the PCA Community Teams page, he’ll shave his beard!) or Dr. Abood’s weekly challenges to Lower School families (where “rewards” have included her swimming in the ocean (in March!) and taking a pie in the face). Even beyond those school-wide community–building activities, classes and groups of peers continue to meet for bible studies, discussions, and lunch dates.  

Sometimes… it takes a few takes!  

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!  

Perseverance, a willingness to humbly accept when things don’t go quite right and a sense of humor are important qualities to learn. Our teachers have demonstrated this by sharing their distance learning blooper reels, showing that sometimes, teaching from the remote classroom takes a few takes!  

Check out this video compilation of some of the bloopers from our first few weeks of distance learning.  

Stay tuned – there’s more to come!  

In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to give you a peek inside PCA during distance learning. Each week, we’ll tackle a different side of our school and show how it has temporarily evolved to meet social distancing standards. So, if you’ve been wondering, “What does differentiation look like during distance learning?” or, “How do you do gym class from a distance?” you’ll want to stay tuned for our upcoming peeks inside PCA! 

Read more reflections, resources, and advice on distance learning in the Better Together Blog.