Over the past two weeks we have been debriefing our students’ current learning experience. As a school our decision making is made with Solution Fluency in mind and with that we have been exploring how, with health and safety at the forefront, we could improve the social well-being of our students and families, along with ensuring our students continue to grow as learners. On Thursday, our students stayed home for an asynchronous day and over 120 staff members rolled up their sleeves and we recreated 45 classrooms and specialist spaces to safely bring our students back to school on Sunday.
Over the past two weeks we have been working hard as a team to bring our students back to the classroom. We have done this because we know it is the right decision for our children. As a school we feel very confident in the learning experiences we have been able to create for our students, either in the Spring when we were fully remote, or to start this school year in our 50/50 hybrid model. As innovative and vigorous our experiences have been though, nothing replaces the time a child has with their teacher. It is the just-in-time feedback, that personal comment to grasp a child’s attention, the live human connection and that respect that a student has for an excellent teacher that drives our students to succeed.
Today our teachers created classrooms for their students. These rooms are designed to be safe and socially distanced spaces that provide familiarity to students, allow for distanced collaborations/conversations, have a sense of community, and support what we value in learning. The reason schools are open is not because students cannot learn remotely, they can. We open our schools because our elementary children’s social-emotional well-being matters. Empathy, integrity, respect and responsibility are fostered when humans interact with one another (even socially distanced). Academically, the impact of being in a learning space allows for the enthusiastic sharing of individual knowledge and interests, and creates an incredible synergy of idea sharing that makes the classroom a special place to learn.
Though we are inviting all students back to campus, we have a number of students who will remain remote. We understand and respect the decision families have made in this time of COVID. Our remote learners will continue to connect with their classroom community, have personalized learning experiences with their classroom teacher through small groups, 1:1 time and participate in our specialist programs. This will look very similar to the past few weeks and we will continue to evolve our program to best meet the needs of our remote and on-site learners.
We are in exciting times and we look forward to introducing our A and B group students to one another on Sunday, and moving forward with what continues to be an excellent and eventful school year.
As always, thank you to you, our Dubai American Academy community, for your continued support and trust in us as we strive to educate the heart and mind of your children.