Skip To Main Content

Healthy Together: eLearning & COVID-19 Updates

The safety and health of Whitfield students, families, faculty, and staff is our highest priority. Our decisions during this time will continue to be guided by compassion and care for our community, the directives of state and local authorities, and our concern for the larger societal good.             Last page update: 5/24/2020   

Campus Closed

Whitfield's campus will be closed through the end of 2019-20 academic year.  Access will be limited to essential personnel. Athletic fields and facilities are closed and may not be used at this time. All school gatherings, events, and spring MSHSAA sports have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. Only the most important requests to retrieve items from the building can be accommodated. Contact security for campus access, or the technology support desk to schedule curbside pickup for laptops and accessories. 

Security: 314-280-8848
Technology: tech.support@whitfieldschool.org

While Campus is Closed...

Additional cleaning measures are taking place across all classrooms and facilities.

Staff and administrators are connected with local and national health authorities as well as with their counterparts at other area schools.

School leadership convenes virtually on a regular basis.

Faculty, staff and administrators are available through their Whitfield phone extensions and email addresses.  Click here for the Faculty & Staff Directory.

eLearning is in full swing!

LEADERSHIP UPDATE

Message from the Director of Teaching & Learning
Mead Ploszay, Director of Teaching & Learning, joined Whitfield in June 2019. In her role, she supports the advancement of instructional practice by working with teachers, students and families to maximize the learning experience.

Dear Whitfield Community,

Four weeks into the eLearning experience students and faculty continue to express genuine appreciation for increased opportunities to connect, process, discuss and debate together.  Feedback regarding the evolution of our teaching model to now include “live” class time has been overwhelmingly positive. 

I’ve been collecting feedback about the eLearning platform through student surveys and individual student and parent meetings.  Grade level teams and departments have also reported out on weekly student progress and curricular developments. Through shared stories of challenge and achievement the prevailing message is that collaborative efforts maximize the advancement of learning.

Shared investigation and collaboration regarding effective digital tools, among faculty, has been incredible to witness.  Faculty continue to work tirelessly to deliver daily lessons using digital tools such as Camtasia, OneNote, Edpuzzle, Kahoot, Voicethread and Screencastify, and teachers have risen to the challenge of designing and/or modifying opportunities for students to participate in more project-based learning that involves deeper levels of thinking as well as personal engagement.  This work not only builds digital skills that are transferable to life beyond the classroom but supports our mission to build perspective. Examples of current project-based work are the investigative journalism podcasts in 11th grade English, the construction of an interactive website in 10th grade History and videos of global food dish preparation in world languages. 

In this new eLearning environment, students are growing in unexpected ways that will profoundly impact their lives moving forward.  Students are working to hone executive functions and daily life skills like planning and prioritizing, self-regulation and self-evaluation. Yet, the area of most noticeable growth is student-initiated communication. Students are reaching out to peers, teachers and student support personnel through email, google hangouts and Zoom (and of course Facetime and gaming devices). They are leaning into productive struggle and in turn seeking out resources when appropriate. Additionally, students are finding ways to encourage one another to cope with the new normal and providing words of wisdom that include, “we are all in this together,” “remember to breathe,” and “take one thing/day at a time.”  

Productive growth stems from constructive communication among all constituencies.  That is what we aspire to model for our students and build upon for the purpose of continued intentional evolution. While students and families continue to live in this unique situation it is important to remember that the student support team as well as the division directors are available—and happy—to provide support and collaborate in a solution-focused manner. Weekly highlights from my vantage point include the opportunity to provide student feedback about their preparation and delivery of MacBeth debates and student sessions to discuss time management, prioritizing and drafting emails to teachers that include clarifying questions.  

Many days I am reminded of the proverbial phrase “it takes a village.”  While our current backdrop involves a virtual village, I continue to believe in the power of the village and know that when we are able to come together again in the physical sense that our village will be stronger.  

Warmly,

Mead Ploszay, MS, LPC
Director or Teaching & Learning

eLEARNING AT-A-GLANCE

  • Whitfield launched its eLearning model as “on demand” or “asynchronous" on March 30, then, on April 14, moved into Phase II of eLearning with a combination approach that transitioned from optional academic lab each afternoon to required "live" classes.
  • Our school size allows us to take an agile approach to the eLearning experience, which means we will continue to refine—and add features to—our eLearning model based on feedback from students, families, and faculty.  
  • Students are responsible for completing classwork for 3-4 courses each day.
  • We believe students should stick to a schedule, but we understand that won’t always be possible. Suggested student schedules in Warrior Web designate mornings (8:00 – 11/12:00) for classwork and engagement, afternoons (1:00 – 4:00) for connection and collaboration, and evenings (after 4:00) for family and friends.
  • Greenslips will still be used to communicate student achievements and concerns.
  • We will still be taking attendance. On days when students are unable to participate in eLearning, please call in those “absences” to the attendance line (314-415-1292) as usual.
  • We are closely monitoring updates about revised guidelines related to AP and other standardized testing platforms.
  • Faculty, staff, and administrators are still available via campus phone extensions and Whitfield email addresses.

FAQs

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK @WHITFIELDSCHOOL