Online Learning: Phase Three

Designing and working with curricula is a passion of mine. The past several weeks have been difficult, but they have also been exciting. Being part of what The Academy teachers have created is incredible. Your sons’ teachers are continuing to build curriculum and teaching practices that will be meaningful and valuable in our new reality.
Phase three means SAA has shifted from a focus of learning the LMS platform through review materials to focusing on teaching and learning new content. The rigor continues to increase. The number of personalized lessons are growing. The frequency of live online class meetings are building quickly. This is exciting stuff! 
Here is what you can expect to see for next week:
  • Lessons will contain more content.
  • Primary School lessons will include all subject areas. 
  • Additional learning opportunities will include specials, electives, and fine arts.
  • An increase in the number of teacher-recorded lessons.
  • More Google Meetings will be planned with students.
While it is unrealistic to think your son will be able to do all of his work on his own, he should be shifting to more independence. The teachers are using recorded directions rather than written directions for younger students. This will allow them to simply click and listen. The LMS is very predictable, which means he can navigate the system on his own. If you encourage your son to try to navigate the LMS on his own, you may see a level of independence and confidence that will surprise you.
Listening to your feedback has taught us that there is still a wide range of expectations about how much time the boys should be involved in school work. The teachers are continuing to provide optional activities to challenge and enrich your son’s learning. And at the same time identify the essential lessons for those families that have less time to dedicate to the academic day.
It is uncertain what is going to happen in the world and in our neighborhoods. The one thing I can assure you is that your son is loved. Your son is important. And, your son will receive the best SAA has to offer. It may not always look exactly like what other schools are doing, but know that The Academy is being thoughtful and purposeful in our efforts. Our goal is to provide your sons with an online learning program that maintains our curriculum expectations while also taking into consideration the various needs and limitations that exist during this challenging time.  
Thank you,
Dr. Patrick Atkerson
Director of Curriculum & Student Services