Progressive School Coronavirus Report – By Eric Jacobson

Progressive School Coronavirus Report

By Eric Jacobson

Progressive School anticipated the spread of Coronavirus and prepared a four-phase response plan in February of 2020. The fourth and final phase of that plan is where we stand now — in a total shutdown throughout New York.

Our program is receiving incredible praise as the leader of all Long Island schools. Hofstra University has stated that with our online learning program we have been able to achieve more than any school up to the university level than they have ever seen. All our content is original and designed to be Neohumanist in nature.

Here is a brief synopsis of what we are offering:

  • Original Video—disseminated via published YouTube links
    • Prepared recordings of special lessons by our staff and directed at specific age groups, including parents
      • Art
      • Music
      • Emotional/Social/Wellness
    • Recorded Zoom lessons
      • For most subjects
      • For learning celebrations (in lieu of parties and conventions)
      • For technical assistance
  • Canvas online learning system
    • Modules are created for each week within all academic disciplines and at all levels from K-10, and then assigned in an individualized profile for each student. These modules contain:
      • Information Pages
      • Downloadable Files with online visibility (powerpoint, doc, pdf, jpg, etc.)
      • Instructional videos
      • Quizzes
      • Discussions
      • Assignments
    • Students responses to Canvas
      • Accepted via Canvas phone app: photo and upload
      • Accepted via direct text input
      • Accepted via email to teacher
    • Grading
      • All assignments are graded via points, feedback, comments, complete/incomplete
      • All responses become a part of a child’s progress profile
      • Exemplary responses are compiled for a weekly newsletter within a subject
  • Zoom
    • Lessons in all subjects according to regular school schedule to avoid conflicts
    • Lessons are recorded for easy access if attendance is not possible
    • Staff meetings
    • Online parties, sing alongs, etc.
  • Support
    • Tech support 12/7 via email, phone, text, Zoom
    • Computers, printers, ink provided without charge for stressed families
    • Supplies
      • Every two weeks teachers prepare a packet of supplies
      • Supplies are sterilized, placed outside on tables, and pick-up times arranged
      • Supplies include books, tools, manipulatives
    • Emotional support
      • Drive by visits by teachers
      • Correspondence with guidance for anxiety relief, including kiirtan
    • Delivery
      • For families without the ability to arrange pick up, supplies are delivered by staff, parents, or principal
  • Effort to communicate —we leave no stone unturned to reach out to people who are non-responsive, or not participating
    • Email
    • Text
    • Canvas announcements
    • Phone calls
    • Personal visit

Examples:

    • This YouTube video is an example of a prepared lesson offered for students and parents on Emotional/Social/Wellness https://youtu.be/og8NYXgejgA . The music is by our teachers.

 

    • An example of an academic module and quiz would be a posted morality tale written for 5th/6th graders meant to teach Brahmacarya (seeing the One in all things), accompanied by a graded quiz that includes a written essay on the practice of Unity in daily life.

 

  • Exemplary responses to academic assignments are compiled for a weekly newsletter within a subject. An example is the following piece written by a student with learning disabilities in response to a music appreciation course that at the time was examining the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata:

“I was still on the small rowboat. I had opened my eyes and saw the beautiful morning sunshine as I became one with myself. I saw the beautiful daylight. I looked up in the sky and saw wonderful lanterns in every color. I encountered myself with this door to who knows where. I decided to take the risk and discover something new. As I opened the door, there was this shining bright light. At first I thought I was in heaven, when I saw something far beyond all the fog. There was this voice, a beautiful song leading the way through a secret passageway. I quickly followed the voice before it faded away. As I got closer… I felt happy, like I had actually found myself, I had become one with my body and mind, and one with myself. I felt something in my heart–a different mood I have never felt before. It was different, peaceful. I had been relaxed with this beautiful music, and I was happy. I have always had a passion for music. It’s like a part of me, it completes me. I have loved music since the day I have been born, and it’s funny because tomorrow April 2nd is my birthday. I think that I am very spritely because I am always full of so much energy. I never let anything ruin my happiness nothing can ever let me down. I just have a way of always feeling so happy no matter what and I love it. I am just that kind of a person. I don’t know I just feel very different, like I have changed. Whenever I close my eyes and listen to the music, it’s like I enter another world of possibilities, and that anything is possible. I also feel happy, more happy then I have felt these past days”.

Virtual Art Museum of Student Work

Another example of what we do is as follows: The art teacher prepares a video lesson for 7/8 grade. We share it with a YouTube link. We then call, email, text every family until we get 100% participatory responses. We then compile their work into a virtual museum. Afterwards we share the middle school museum with the whole school. You can view the result here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFQdO7ASea0 or here:
https://progressiveli.org/distance-learning-in-art/

More Distance Learning Outcomes for Viewing

2nd grade dino museum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YznhriVATdc

5th grade invention convention https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zYC3QaP8jI

6th grade science fair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqloXYG93AQ

Parent Feedback

I just got this comment from a parent who is an educator and education activist:

“I can’t say enough about the tremendous job you are doing. Public districts are falling apart in their academics and you continue to shine. The kids are happy, learning, and love staying connected with their teachers and friends. The teachers have been so gentle and accommodating. We are so very happy and have told people all over what a great job our school is doing – not only to other parents in different districts but also to administrators and teachers we are friends with.
Having tech geeks at Hofstra set it up was brilliant. Most schools are using google classroom and it’s not going so well from what I hear from both parents and teachers. Canvas is fairly easy to navigate once you get the hang of it. After the first couple weeks, the boys have been able to do much of everything on their own. You guys didn’t miss a beat and it’s been greatly appreciated. More than the academics, though, the staff is always dedicated to the needs and well-being of the kids. You clearly make that the priority. You just get it. It’s made this transition less anxiety-producing and uncertain for our kids. We love and appreciate you all so much.”
With gratitude, Jihan

“Sá vidyá yá vimuktaye - Education is that which liberates”