Our Wildwood, Summer 2021, Volume 46

FEATURE by Jaimi Boehm, Director of Middle School;

Sarah Simon, Assistant Director of Elementary School; and Vanessa Stotland, Assistant Director of Middle and Upper/ Interim Director of Upper School

Distributed Learning Learnings In February 2020, as we noticed that other parts of the world were starting to shut down because of the pandemic, our team did what we always do—we used evidence and research to facilitate planning and implementation of a major shift to our program. When Los Angeles shut down overnight, we were ready. It was our first step, under the leadership of former Associate Head of School Lori Strauss, that made all the difference. We answered the question, “What is quintessentially Wildwood? What must stay the same whether we’re off-site or on-site?” To help guide our thinking, we drafted a sort of manifesto and committed to one another that our programmatic choices would preserve: Depth over breadth Opportunities to design, develop, explore, research, and create

step of the way, we return to the priorities we established from the outset to recalibrate. Those priorities are the core of what makes a Wildwood education, and it is our commitment to those priorities that has helped us maintain an authentically Wildwood experience, no matter where we might physically be. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAM Elementary teachers knew how important it was for students to continue engaging in meaningful, purposeful, hands-on learning. In addition to their daily math, reading, and writing lessons, 2nd grade teacher and librarian Jennifer Dubois wanted her students to have something to work on that felt important and meaningful to them, both as a means to deepen learning as well as support their social and emotional needs during such a challenging time. As part of their social studies curriculum, Jennifer began her project by inviting a community member and local environmental scientist as a guest speaker over Zoom to explore the topic of endangered species. The students were hooked. After the presentation, the students turned to the digital reading app, Epic, and started researching local endangered animals. The more students read and learned about these animals, the more they wanted to do something to help. Wanting to include opportunity for collaboration, Jennifer put students who were interested in studying the same animal into small Zoom breakout rooms, and

Connection and collaboration Reflection and metacognition Interdisciplinary connections Meaningful and robust learning Differentiation Project-based learning (voice and choice) Mastery-based learning

Over the past year, we have had to adapt, aligning our plans with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines, but more important, to be responsive to our teachers’, students’, and families’ needs. Every


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