Community Amidst Distance During COVID-19
If you were to ask people what makes Wheaton Christian Grammar School the place that it is, they would mention the excellent academics, but also the community among the faculty and staff, students, and families. It was truly a sad day when we found out that our on-campus learning experience had to come to a halt in the middle of March. The familiarity of our routine and joy of being together as a school community were going to be gone immediately with no answer of when we would be able to be back together again. As our students were told the news, you could see the sadness and even some tears on their faces. We felt the sadness as a faculty and staff too as we faced a new unknown.
From that day on, technology became our students’ main avenue for learning. Each school day they were greeted with messages from their teachers encouraging them and laying out the plan for the day. The administrators provided daily devotionals on our website to allow families to learn about the Bible and grow toward God together as a WCGS family, and social-emotional resources were provided by staff to help walk alongside families during this time and help students process with their parents how they feel about what is going on.
The use of online resources such as Flip Grid, FACTS Student Learning System, Zoom, and more were a way to help add to our students’ educational experience. An Instagram account was made for our 5th graders to experience the process and hatching of their chicks, and a virtual Outdoor Ed experience was planned to help them experience the outdoors while staying safe at home.
Zoom meetings were a regular occurrence for all students, allowing for fun and a time to be together “face-to-face.” Connect Groups for our 6th-8th graders met on a weekly basis to hang out, play games, talk about life, and stay in touch. Classes held calls to learn lessons, but always included lots of laughter as they interacted with one another. The annual Mother’s Day Tea in Kindergarten took place virtually, as children gathered with their moms in front of the computer to celebrate Mother’s Day.
These are only a few of the countless examples where technology has helped our school community to learn and thrive. We are grateful for the technology we have and that our students could continue their education virtually through e-Learning during this time. It’s hard to imagine what the COVID-19 situation would have looked like even 5 years ago.
Over the course of a few days, our administrative team, along with teachers and staff pulled together the resources and plans to launch an e-Learning curriculum that would not only maintain our student’s knowledge but push them forward in their learning. We are always grateful for the partnership we have with our families, but during a time like this, it is more evident than ever. They have shown strength, grace, and kindness throughout this e-Learning process, and we know that this would not be possible without them.
“As we push on, let’s remember that our Awesome God is faithful. The Lord reminded me of the truth from Hebrews 13:8 – ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ He hasn’t changed. He is in control. As things continually change with the COVID-19 pandemic, we can be confident and place our full trust in Jesus. He is our Rock. Let’s continue to lean into Him during these unusual days for each of us.”
– Steve Clum, Head of School
We plan on being back to our regular school routine come August 18 but will be preparing for different scenarios throughout the summer in case they are needed. We are eagerly looking forward to the day where we can all be back together. Until then, we will keep praying and leaning into the Lord for his strength and wisdom.
For continuous updates on the impact of COVID-19 at WCGS, please continue to check our website.
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