In response to COVID-19, ODA has joined other schools across the Bay Area in closing our physical campus. Recognizing this necessity, we also believe learning is too important for a ‘wait-and-see’ approach, so ODA students and staff have worked quickly and tirelessly to get every member of the ODA community online. From distributing laptops and wifi hotspots, to shifting lessons and curriculum into a purely digital format, to establishing norms for an online workplace, every member of the ODA community has come together over the past few weeks to ensure that no learning opportunity goes to waste.
We are proud beyond words of our students and staff, not just for their quick transition to a virtual learning environment, but also for their enduring commitment to high, rigorous standards and fidelity to our instructional model. As you can see in the screenshot above, ‘online learning’ does not just mean watching videos or listening to lectures. Our students are continuing on with Harkness Tables, Tutorials, and other key pieces of our rigorous approach.
Below, you will read the reflections of a few members of our learning community. We are inspired by their effort, dedication, and embodiment of our core values in the midst of such unprecedented times. We wish everyone safety and good health through the months to come, and that others may find the hope and optimism we’ve found in watching our community come together.
Chyanne, ODA Student
As the pandemic of the century, COVID-19, has put many students and adults into a shelter-in-place status, this situation has been a chance for Oxford Day Academy to see the model of online learning in full effect. As a student experiencing this shift of learning to the entire school doing online learning, it has given me the chance to put forth my leadership skills to make sure that my peers are all still receiving classroom resources and information that is being sent to them electronically. I want to make sure they are touching base with their teachers about assignments and tests that may have been disrupted because of the school closure. Also, as an upperclassman, there are SAT, ACT, and SBAC tests coming up that have been pushed back, but as a class, we all took the initiative to keep working through the obstacles to be able to stay on track as senior year is approaching. With these new changes, we are still able to be in contact with all of our teachers through the google platforms that have been put in place throughout the year such as: Google docs, Google classroom, and Google Meets.
Furthermore, there are many challenges the school closure created for the students at Oxford Day Academy; but, I see those challenges as an even stronger push for my peers and I to show that we are capable of completing the assignments no matter the environment or circumstance. As long as we work together, communicate, and encourage one another when we come upon an academic barrier, we are bound to greatness. For example, the Juniors at Oxford Day Academy have made group chats for each class to do Google Meets Harknesses, as the one held on Tuesday (3/14) afternoon, to keep the academic culture of our school alive. This is not the end, but the beginning of our journey at Oxford Day Academy in the time of Covid-19.
Jay, ODA Student Studying in the UK
I think COVID-19 precautions didn’t really affect my UK school experience until the last minute. I remember on the day of steeplechase, an annual charity race against each boarding house at Christ’s Hospital, it just being a normal day; there were regular classes and not really any expectation of the school shutting down. We had normal class periods one through four, when a lot of rumors were heard about the cancellation of school and steeplechase, which many didn’t believe. All we knew was that a huge meeting between the deputy heads was occurring and that it was going to decide the outcome of the school’s decision on safety precautions against COVID-19. During my sixth period, it was announced by random staff that there was an emergency meeting in our chapel to discuss these matters, which addressed all the rumors – confirmed the cancellation of the steeplechase run, the closing of the school campus until Easter break to those in all grades except Greater Erasmus (GE) and the Grecians, which in American schooling would be equivalent to sophomore and senior year, as they had ongoing priority assessments to complete before the break. The plan was for them to continue going to school as normal for an additional two weeks before leaving on break.
After leaving England and returning back home to the states before the closing of the borders, it’s gotten more serious in terms of the precautionary measures against COVID-19. The GE and Grecians were sent home, as well as most international students that were to stay at the school until Easter break and apparently, they’re closing the Christ’s Hospital campus for the rest of the school year and so work would all be addressed online through the use of Microsoft Teams through documentation. All in all, I feel as if the transition happened really quickly and last minute. It felt unreal at first, but with time, as most things, I’ve come to realize that it was decided based on the basis of our safety and should be acknowledged with respect and empathy.
Anthony, ODA Student
What went well during our online classes was the fact that we were finally able to get in touch with our teachers and discuss how the flow of our classes were going to shift a bit from the recent change. They also told us updates on what is going to happen to assignments that we were given before this whole pandemic occurred.
Now, for what was difficult, having to adjust to this new type of learning since for myself personally, I don’t believe that I am the best learner when it comes to doing the work all online and getting lectures online due to the fact that I would find it very difficult to pay attention during class.
The support that I think helps the most is getting the opportunity to work with our peers even more than ever now, since we’re all trying to pass together so we would do anything to help each other pass which includes meeting up in a google hangout and work on our homework together. It’s also a nice way of dealing with isolation from other people.
Dalia, ODA Student
The Coronavirus has affected me in a couple of ways. My parents have become more strict about me being out of the house and like many other people, I don’t think I can last another week inside my house. I now have a little fear of things I touch or being out in a public place. Some students are having a good time out of school not worrying about getting work done because of this situation. But, this is where the Coronavirus affects me the most. I would prefer to be at school and getting hard copies of my work. I find it a lot easier to do than doing online school work. Not going to school will bring my grades down and can make it harder for me to get the help I need from my teachers. And it will also make it harder for me to get in contact with my peers to get help or work on an assignment together. The Coronavirus has not affected me too much yet, but if it continues as severe as it is right now, it will.