COVID-19 Modes of Learning
As we move into the coming academic year we are fully preparing CISM to continue delivering a high quality bilingual international education. To achieve this we are preparing and planning for all potential eventualities. This includes the development of technologies, training of teachers and preparation of our facilities. Our goal is to shape positive school and learning experiences within this changing new context. The 2020-2021 school year will continue to provide challenges for us as a community, but we are confident that the resilience and adaptability shown by the CISM families over the last few months will allow us to weather these ongoing challenges together. We are fully confident in our ability to deliver enhanced distance learning, adjusted face-to-face learning and/or a hybrid of the two. What has been abundantly clear through the lockdown period is the importance of our partnership with our families and the positive teacher/student relationships that have been nurtured at CISM.
Potential Models for Learning
In anticipation of ongoing and evolving challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, CISM has developed three models for learning described below:
Face-to-face Learning : This would be a more normal school experience with students attending school in person five days a week. This model will support student learning and wellbeing with face-to-face interaction and collaboration between students and teachers. In this model enhanced health and safety measures are put into place, along with some physical distancing guidelines. In this model the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 is considered low enough that greater student density on transport, in classrooms and in other shared facilities is appropriate.
Hybrid Model for Learning : This model combines face-to-face learning with some distance learning. Classrooms have been retrofitted for optimal audio-visual (AV) set-up, to deliver enhanced online classes and augment student-user experience. This approach allows us to maximise the use of teacher/student interaction and distance learning to provide a rich experience for our students and tailor our delivery according to Department of Education requirements and the specific needs of our students. A hybrid model with face-to-face learning for approximately 50% of the time and remote learning for 50% of the time, will allow us to introduce physical distancing and density reduction as key strategies to further reduce exposure within the community.
Distance Learning: CISM’s Enhanced distance Learning Program refers to the school’s online learning program designed to deliver its curriculum without the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our students. From March CISM has engaged in delivering, reviewing, training for, and adjusting our approaches to distance learning. Through the use of student, family and teacher surveys and tracking best practice worldwide our distance learning has evolved to meet the unique needs of all students at CISM. We are justifiably proud of our progress to date, however, we are continuing to refine these programs and the teacher training to support them. Our approach to distance learning utilizes a variety of platforms, tools and activities, in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
In Distance Learning, the student may experience synchronous learning This is simultaneous teacher and student engagement in a virtual classroom via video conference. This is live teaching, and is used for the introduction and/or reinforcement of key concepts, review or adjustment of materials according to the needs identified by the students. Types of activities may include, reading activities, whole and small group discussions, worked examples, as well as hands-on activities like experiments, music and movement, games, arts and crafts, and role-playing. Synchronous Learning may also be delivered through google classroom where the teacher is monitoring learning, commenting and offering support where required in real time. Asynchronous Learning: In the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels, asynchronous activities are carried out to further enhance student learning, develop mastery, and build on independent skills. This type of learning allows students to access resources and work on carefully developed tasks or projects. They are designed to allow the student choice in how they structure their learning and require them to work more independently, some of this will be group work with a focus on collaboration and student connection. Teachers are available to provide support and answer questions when requested by the student(s) within a reasonable time frame. We expect this work to require minimal assistance from their guardians.