Community during Covid-19?
With physical distancing and remote learning, we have had to find new ways to interact as a community. Students continue to solve problems together… in virtual classrooms. We continue to celebrate birthdays, and have our weekly Big Sing… via Zoom! Members of our community continue to reach out to local families and businesses in need.
When it comes to facing new challenges, we’re not stepping out as much, but we’re certainly stepping up!
The Common School Community
The Common School believes that a strong sense of community, belonging, and being well-known are essential components for learning. When a child feels safe and valued, they can take intellectual, social, and emotional risks, helping them develop a strong sense of their place in their immediate community and beyond. The Common School strives to create a community that is not only safe, but kind, fair, and inclusive.
During the Covid-19 crisis, physical distancing has inhibited our daily interactions and community rituals, and we have had to rethink how we stay connected. Though nothing can truly replace the warmth and connection we feel when we are all together on our campus, these are examples of how we have approached this challenge:
- Creating virtual classrooms that centralize weekly schedules, communications, and resources
- Teacher-led class meetings and recognition circles using teleconferencing platforms, such as Zoom
- Small group and individual lessons with teachers
- One-to-one check-ins between teachers, students, and families
- Providing hand-delivered materials and equipment to ensure that all families have access to learning opportunities
- Twice weekly story time with our librarian
- Weekly Big Sing gatherings to sing, celebrate birthdays, and share announcements;
- Planning for our annual pumpkin and potato planing at neighboring Bramble Hill Farm (with physical distancing and other safety protocols in place)
- Faculty and staff visit their colleagues’ virtual classrooms to participate in remote learning opportunities, such as Head of School, Paul Wiley, documenting his own worm hunt in response to a Blue Nursery teacher’s video of worms in the school’s compost.
Common School family community connections have shone brightly during this time:
- Parent, Adam Quenneville, of Quenneville Roofing has donated PPE equipment to our medical teams on the frontlines. You can read about the Quenneville Roofing story >
- The Shannon-Dabek family (alum parents to current Blue Nursery Teacher, Nadja Shannon-Dabek) has volunteered to come in to check in and reshelve library books so that families can access our collection as soon as we can safely be back on campus.
- Current grandparent, Caridad Martinez, volunteered to co-read a bi-lingual story at story time with librarian, JennyKate Marble, which many of our students enjoyed.