Dear MVCS staff and families,
Although “change” will not be the official school theme for this coming school year, it may dominate our circumstances. I have two big items to share with you!
1. Praise the Lord! The State of Vermont has provided its first directive for the reopening of school in September. One of those mandates, is to be prepared for any option of learning:
- In-school with appropriate health measures in place
- Total remote learning – all students at home interacting with a teacher/class at school online*
- Some mix of the two – some students may be at home due to student or family health vulnerabilities, or because of exposure to the virus.
*Interacting with a teacher online may be for a class, a whole day, or some portion thereof. This can apply to students at any grade level.
Your School Board and I have been anticipating these possibilities for several weeks now. Additionally, at the end of this recent school year these concerns occupied a significant portion of the discussions in our staff meetings. As a result, we are now on a strong trajectory to prepare MVCS for any of these situations that the Lord allows to come our way. In each of the above-mentioned circumstances, we will have the objective of decreasing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and ensuring the health of your son or daughter. In any situation, as always, we will be focused on a continuing program of academic excellence established on a foundation of Biblical truth.
2. COVID-19 took us all by surprise and we learned the hard way that remote learning has its technological challenges. We have been confronted with the challenge of how we could upgrade our existing technology to enable enhanced performance and reduced downtime. Hallelujah! Some of the original founders of MVCS have generously offered to not only procure this upgrade, but also to give of their time and energy to make this happen. Our new Live!-Online-Classroom debuts Monday morning and I wanted to give you advanced notice of its public announcement. The Live!-Online-Classroom will enable us to have In-school and Live! school simultaneously. You may hear advertising for it on WGLV, and it will be featured on the new online learning tab of our website. In the coming weeks we will also be advertising through various social media platforms.
In all these matters, we earnestly request your prayers. This new initiative has the potential to bring many students to the school, and further increase the influence of our ministry for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel.
Please see below, the substance of which will be going on the MVCS website Monday morning. It will give you much more insight regarding the addition of our new Live!-Online-Classroom platform.
Head of School
We are excited to announce the introduction of our Live!-Online-Classroom for the 2020/21 school year. In addition to our regular campus classrooms in Quechee, Vermont, students will now be able to partake of the live classroom experience from anywhere in the world. This is a cutting-edge initiative at MVCS, that offers tremendous benefits above other online offerings.
● Students will be able to interact with their fellow classmates and teachers in a bidirectional fashion. Rather than just watching a video of a class taking place, remote learning students will be able to participate in the academic activities of the classroom.
● Limited class sizes ensure that every student either on campus, or at a remote location gets the individualized attention and participation that undergirds a strong academic experience.
● As you can imagine, in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, schools will be facing unique challenges in the absence of a vaccine. Many families are concerned that children coming home from school could infect older, more vulnerable people, or even the wage earners in their homes.
● We are laying a technological foundation at the student and teacher level that will ensure continuance of a student’s education should we face a “2nd wave” of the virus.
● Remote students fulfilling the curriculum requirements will be able to graduate with their fellow students at the Mid Vermont Christian School campus.
● Participation in the life of the school, in sports, in plays, at concerts, and all other MVCS community events, are available to our remote learning students.
● Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, this initiative makes Christ-centered Biblically sound education available for many families to whom it might not otherwise be available. Every one of our teaching staff is a mature, born again, dedicated follower of Christ. Their wisdom and Christian example will infuse the learning experience with an essential life illustration for every student. Jesus said: “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40 NASB
Below you will find numerous examples of the utilization of technology in education. If you’re not already familiar with the way these technologies work in a classroom setting, we encourage you to watch some of the videos. Check out the mvcs.info website in a couple of weeks and you will find a Mid Vermont Christian School video message giving you an overview of our own interactive technology. Whether participating in only one online class, or taking advantage of the full academic curriculum of the school, remote students will enjoy the benefits of excellence in Christian education.
We are working hard to keep pricing as low as possible for this brand-new initiative at the school. We intend to have final pricing structures for the various offerings available for remote learning during the next couple of weeks.
We will be taking appointments for “test drives” of our system in early August.
When using the side monitor as a secondary display to a Chromebook or laptop, students can follow along and work on their own touchscreen, while watching the teacher and following lessons on their primary screen. Likewise, teachers can interact with their lessons and better engage students from the large classroom touch display—it’s like bringing an interactive whiteboard into your home.
What happens in the classroom above…
happens here on the student’s screen.
The video below, though not directly applicable to our MVCS classroom, is an example of interactive teaching technology. This shows on a small scale, what we will be doing on a large scale with our own combination of top technology platforms. Note, that as the teacher shares his screen, whatever he does on his screen shows up on the remote student’s screen. Our facilitation of technology at MVCS utilizes more than one software platform along with latest communication technology and hardware. Additionally, we are making chrome books with touchscreens and 2nd monitors available to our students.
In the next video we see some of the basic facilities offered in Zoom for sharing screens. This experience is greatly enhanced by our utilization of the very latest in education hardware and software platforms at MVCS.
Check out the mvcs.info website often. We will be regularly adding more tutorials, along with the schedule for orientation sessions in the MVCS Live!-Online-Classroom environment.
Our students are going to be a step ahead in the new world of learning with sophisticated technology. More questions? Give us a call and we’ll be delighted to tell you more.