This press release was updated on April 30, 2020
WENHAM, Mass., March 18, 2020 — Today The Academy at Penguin Hall (APH) started its distance learning model of education to keep students engaged in their studies during the COVID-19 health crisis. Led by APH Dean of Academics Jan Healy, the newly designed online instruction model ensures all APH students will continue their learning and coursework while at home. The APH Distance Learning Model is in effect from March 18 through the remainder of the spring semester.
As one of the first high schools in Massachusetts to implement distance-learning in response to mandated school closures, all classes are held in a synchronous method, meaning students and teachers will meet together in real-time through the video meeting platform, Zoom. To further help students stay on task, the distance learning schedule closely mirrors the campus’ on-site schedule, and includes allocated time for student breaks, lunch, advisory, resource blocks and other campus activities. Daily class attendance is required, just as with a traditional on-campus schedule.
Healy shared that even during this period of uncertainty and social distancing, Penguin Hall remains steadfast in its commitment to academic excellence and unparalleled student learning and support. “While this is a very challenging time for all of us, we remain committed to our mission of serving our students intellectually, spiritually, socially, physically and creatively. I am extremely grateful for the dedication our talented and ever-creative faculty continues to show for student learning. I am confident our faculty’s relentless hard work in bringing these classes online and their unwavering commitment to providing unmatched learning opportunities will help our students navigate this ‘new normal’ and adjust quickly to a virtual learning experience.”
Prior to implementing the distance education model, APH Faculty also worked with students independently to better prepare them for online learning by sharing best practices for success, additional learning resources, online etiquette tips, and strategies to keep focused while at home. In addition to online learning, students will continue to participate in their Advisories, a time when students come together with their faculty advisor to share any challenges they may be facing in their classes or in their personal lives, and to seek guidance and support from a trusted adult mentor.
APH is also continuing their tradition of maintaining healthy lifestyles and physical exercise by providing students with different, in-home friendly exercise routines and by sharing tips for managing stress. To help keep the school day as normal as possible, APH Faculty and Staff are working with Campus Ministry to create new, virtual connection opportunities in place of the school’s daily “Morning Meeting,” a time when the entire school community comes together on campus for morning reflection and campus announcements.
Penguin Hall President Molly Martins said the Faculty’s dedication and speed in transitioning their curriculum online to meet distance learning needs is reflective of their passion for teaching and commitment to student success. “Our Administration and Faculty remain fully committed to providing students with the outstanding education they have come to expect to receive at Penguin Hall, and we know all grade levels will be fully prepared for next year’s material. I have never been more proud of this team of educators. Many of our faculty not only adjusted their material, but also had to learn new platforms to teach from a distance. They have shown tremendous resilience, camaraderie and creativity in bringing their classes online, and did so in spite of challenges they faced with this unprecedented situation. Their hard work is inspirational, and is a true testament to the resilience of this entire community.”
For more information about Penguin Hall’s Virtual Learning Model, please visit: https://www.penguinhall.org/distance-learning/
About The Academy at Penguin Hall
The Academy at Penguin Hall is the only all girls college preparatory high school North of Boston. Located in Wenham, Massachusetts, Penguin Hall welcomes young women and their families to learn more about the school. Applications are being accepted for Fall 2020. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit www.penguinhall.org or call 978-468-6200.
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