The strength of a small school like Heronfield is our adaptability. In response to the COVID-19 virus, Heronfield Academy launched a program of distance learning using video conferencing in real time. Our stellar faculty focuses on bringing the same quality of face-to-face instruction online that has served as the core of their classroom teaching. We meet synchronously, through Zoom, to support the students we know and love, and to offer rich academic content that engages them intellectually and emotionally. Our smaller classes, with 12-15 students, allow teachers to engage each student in a video conference format. This week, I watched math students explain how they solved a word problem, listened to a lively discussion of Song Dynasty porcelain, and was amazed at 6th graders’ written responses to questions like, How has your sense of place changed in the last two weeks? and What does love (for community, place, pets, plants, friends, family etc.) look like during this period of physical distancing?”
Our advisors continue to promote good fun, friendship, and living a life through our five core values: Honesty, Respect, Diligence, Celebration, and Caring. Friday morning chores moved from our School House to homes, and our parents shared entertaining photos of students washing dishes, cleaning windows, and emptying dishwashers during Advisory.
In a way, distance learning has been a gift. The resilience of relationships between adults and students is holding fast. We continue to be an inclusive community that values the gifts of each unique child, and our students continue to participate in activities that promote independence and intellectual growth. In a time of change, the structure of these activities will certainly vary, yet we promise to move through change intentionally and thoughtfully. The education of each student is precious and important to each of us.