The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a host of challenges for everyone, the major one being the continuity of academic sessions for the schools. The academic and management team at JBCN International Schools has risen to the occasion during this unprecedented situation by putting the interests of their learners before anything else and have burnt the proverbial midnight oil in an effort to ensure that learning is uninterrupted. Within days they have tested multiple platforms and made the effort to transform everything they have trained for into a unique learning environment. The technical and administrative teams too have been completely engaged in various roles that they have undertaken with pride to support this latest form of education.
As an educational technology savvy school, JBCN International School launched its remote learning programme using tested online strategies and platforms almost immediately across its three campuses. Every effort was made to convert this challenge into an opportunity, thus ensuring that all-round learning continues. The learners were gently introduced to this new and exciting mode of virtual learning by the last week of March.
While technology integration has been instrumental in the successful execution of the sessions, the skillful use of multiple online teaching resources by the faculty has ensured that the virtual sessions do not lack the tangibility of an actual classroom.
The IT and administrative teams are closely monitoring any technical issues faced by the teachers or learners, and working together with the service providers to resolve issues immediately and effectively.
Virtual Learning Programme-
The school team commenced their virtual journey of synchronous live learning sessions for the secondary learners from the first day of the official lockdown as they were already familiar with online tools and platforms from the very beginning. The secondary (Grades VI-XII) learners follow a scheduled time-table for attending the virtual sessions for various subjects via their respective logins. The Co-curricular team has also devised weekly PE and Art assignments for these learners to provide a more holistic engagement at home.
In the initial weeks, the Pre-Primary and Primary learners were sent asynchronous reading materials and worksheets using tools like presentations, PDFs and word documents for practice or as a recap of topics learnt. However, the Primary learners too switched to live, synchronous classes in just two weeks. They have a dedicated log being sent to them with an academic plan for each day which includes different subjects and Quality Circle Time involving extra-curricular activities.
The Pre-Primary team, not far to be left behind, has been holding regular virtual bonding sessions with the youngest learners who too have adapted to a live learning program with the help of their teachers.
Counselling and mental health initiatives-
Given the uncertainty of the present times, the school has also been organizing various mindfulness and mental health activities for learners, staff members and the support staff members to keep their spirits up. These activities include but are not limited to mandala drawings, writing a letter to oneself, doodling, cloud watching with the family, gratitude activity and so on.
They have been sharing a weekly newsletter with positive affirmations and exercises to keep mental health challenges at bay. They have also conducted virtual counselling sessions for the learners facing any issues during this period and for parents who need to cope with behavioural challenges.
The faculty has been working closely with the senior learners, guiding them about which courses to take up during this time, supporting in college applications, and assisting grade VIII learners moving to grade IX with their subject choices.
Interactions and events-
Other than the academic sessions, JBCN International School has used the technology at their disposal to stay connected with the learners and teachers alike. They have conducted some author interactions, virtual workshops, end of year staff get-together and slumber party for the Pre primary learners too.
Since the 3rd Quarter of the Academic year concluded during the lockdown, the school also successfully conducted virtual PTM sessions with the parent partners.
The real test and accomplishment of human spirit is not in encountering challenges but how we strive to overcome them. This pandemic proved to be an opportunity for all the stakeholders of the JBCN family to prove their mettle and work together to ensure the learning continues.