Students, parents, faculty and staff work together to create a virtual Crossroads at home.
On Monday of last week, students in kindergarten through fifth grade were treated to a rare sight: a glimpse of Head of Elementary School Debbie Wei in her home, playing with a slinky, practicing yoga, coloring and singing. The amusing montage was part of the Elementary School’s first virtual Monday Morning Meeting, which also included a sing-along, a message about kindness and a guided meditation. Moving Monday Morning Meeting online is just one of Crossroads’ collaborative efforts to maintain a “normal” routine during remote instruction.
On Wednesday, March 11, when Head of School Bob Riddle and the Elementary School homeroom teachers concurrently announced to all students that the School would be closed for two days to prepare for distance learning, senior administrators, faculty and staff had already been developing an action plan. In the two days that followed, teachers and technology coordinators shared resources and developed systems suited to each division.
“It was an amazing day!” said Head of Upper School Roxanne Zazzaro after the first faculty planning meeting. “Words can’t describe my feelings today for the collegiality and outpouring of help and support that I witnessed.”
Throughout this first week of remote learning, students engaged in activities that not only stimulated their minds but also nurtured their physical, mental and emotional well-being. In the Elementary School, third graders took a break from their computer screens to become engineers, building structures in the shape of the first letter of their first names. Students in the Middle School began the day by completing a daily movement video. Life Skills classes in the Upper School allowed students to see and engage with one another via Google Hangout.
“I miss when you get to walk around school and see all your friends and feel a part of what’s going on,” admits fifth grader Ellie Listenberger. But Ellie and her twin sister, Abby, have found comfort in their teachers during this time. As Abby explains, “My fifth-grade teacher Nicole Fahey is always so kind and funny in a scary and stressful situation. She knows when to make a joke or lighten things up when I (and the class) am feeling stressed.”
In adherence to the Los Angeles “Safer at Home” order, Crossroads plans to continue remote learning through at least April 19.