Remote Learning at Mount Madonna School

Guiding Principles of Remote Learning

Mount Madonna School (MMS) empowers faculty to teach with passion and create meaningful learning experiences geared toward encouraging intellectual inquiry and creative self-expression. Learning and student engagement are driven by the MMS mission. We are a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual and ethical growth. We support our students to become caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals. We believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society.

Providing meaningful learning experiences and a sense of community is at the core of Mount Madonna’s approach to remote learning. To fulfill this mission in a remote learning environment, we plan to embrace our tradition of innovative and experiential education while leveraging technology to create authentic and meaningful learning opportunities. The MMS remote learning program considers the age and developmental stage of our students, as well as equity issues such as access to reliable, high-speed internet, access to learning devices, and varying support levels at home for students, in order to tailor the program to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students.

Goals of Remote Learning

Meaningful Learning Experiences. As we extend learning to the home, we strive to balance the academic, social and emotional needs of our students. The three pillars of the school, academic excellence, creative self expression, and positive character development, provide the foundation for creating authentic learning tasks in a remote learning environment. Projects and assignments are intended to challenge students to think broadly and deeply, to ask discerning questions and to analyze critically.

Building Community and Connection. Building a strong and vibrant community and enhancing the sense of belonging is at the heart of Mount Madonna’s educational program and the student learning experience. MMS is committed to creating a nurturing and secure learning environment. We cultivate positive character development in our students, and the faculty and staff strive to develop strong interpersonal relationships with our students. Through synchronous whole-group and small-group learning, check-ins, regular homework, weekly communication, the faculty and students will maintain a strong connection. To support our parent community, the school will offer a series of virtual parent education classes. We will continue strengthening our partnership with the parent liaisons and will create opportunities for parents to gather and socialize virtually.

How will the School Communicate with Students and Families?

Clear and frequent communication builds and strengthens partnerships between the school and parents. Effective partnerships are even more critical when learning is extended to the home. To keep families well-informed, the school will communicate with families through the school website, email, Schoology, weekly eNews communication, virtual gatherings using video conferencing, and social media. Emergency communication will continue to be provided to you through the email address, text messaging, and phone number you provided to the school.

Mount Madonna School Website:
The school’s website will serve as a centralized hub for updates, information and resources about the school’s policies, protocols and instructional plan in response to COVID-19.

MMS will send all major schoolwide communications and announcements using email. Administration and faculty will also use email to communicate with parents. All middle and high school students will be provided with a school email for their communications with faculty and staff. Lower school students will not have a school email address, and students will communicate with their teacher using Schoology.

Schoology (Learning Management System, LMS) / PowerSchool (Student Information System (SIS):
This past summer, MMS invested in Schoology, which is a teaching and learning platform that allows educators to deliver content consistently, communicate assignments and expectations, provide feedback on student work, message students and track student progress. Students and parents can use Schoology as a one-stop-shop to access learning.

Here is a link to Getting Started on Schoology Guide for Students. The guide provides clear step-by-step instructions, accompanied by pictures, for students from logging in to accessing instructional content and resources.

Every Friday at 4:30pm during the school year, the school shares the weekly eNews with the MMS community. The eNews includes, and is not limited to, important information about upcoming events, a newsletter or story from members of the MMS community, snapshots of student learning and engagement, and recognition of school achievements.

Video Conferencing:
Video conferencing will be employed for synchronous learning, one-to-one or small group learning, faculty office hours, student check-ins, parent meetings, parent education, town halls, community events and virtual social gatherings.

Education Technology Engagement Tools

Remote Learning Expectations and Guidelines for an Effective Partnership