Yu Ming’s distance learning program is built around excellence, equity and empathy. Our goal is to support every single one of our learners in this unprecedented time of remote instruction. “For learning to happen, students must feel safe, known, and embedded in strong relationships,” expressed Sue Park, Head of School. The school launched its distance learning program two days after school closures in mid-March. “We acted quickly to ensure all of our students had the necessary technology and support to continue to meet their well-being, language development, and academic needs, with no interruption.”
100% of Yu Ming Students Participating in Distance Learning
When Yu Ming closed its campuses due to the Coronavirus crisis, the school distributed free computer equipment, helped families access reliable internet service, and offered technology support via phone, email, and in person–while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Every week, learning materials are printed for families who do not have printer access, supplementing digital learning resources. As a result of these efforts to provide the necessary learning tools and support, from the first day of distance learning, 100% of Yu Ming students were–and continue to be–engaged in distance learning.
A Flexible and Personalized Distance Learning Model
Yu Ming’s distance learning program includes weekly guided schedules and daily virtual classes for all grades that integrate goal setting, engaging projects, and personalized instruction. Caring for students’ social-emotional well-being continues through teacher and advisor check-ins, enrichment classes in art and music, facilitated play dates and movement breaks, and weekly community-building Circles. “It is particularly important for us right now to provide an engaging and modular program. Each student’s home setting is affected in various ways by this ‘new normal’, due to work schedules and stress. It is our job to ensure each and every Yu Ming student continues to be served,” said Yu Ming’s Director of Student Support and Special Education Crystal Simmons.
Systematic Support for Our Most Vulnerable Students
Designing our learning program with equity at its core was crucial to the Yu Ming team, as we know that different students have different needs. Each student with unique learning needs has their progress monitored through an individualized schedule and check-in system, and 100% of our exceptional learners with IEP’s or 504 plans continue to be served virtually. The school also formed a new team of “Distance Learning Assistants” dedicated to providing timely and relevant support to students and families, working together with teachers, advisors, Yu Ming’s Family Resource Liaison, the Special Education Team, and school administrators to create an interconnected web of wrap-around support.
Although there is much that remains uncertain in our country and for our communities, we are grateful for the collaboration and mutual support we have found among educators and partners who share our sense of urgency that all students continue to learn and grow. It is this solidarity that will help us not only move through this crisis today with unity, but redefine together what is possible in teaching and learning tomorrow.