St. Charles School in Woburn has successfully transitioned to remote learning using Zoom. St. Charles teachers quickly adapted to the challenge of making this “stay at home” time a valuable experience for students. Teachers and students alike have embraced this change. Teachers reviewed previously learned materials and are now introducing new and creative lessons and skills to help students to learn and grow. Because students use Chromebooks in St. Charles classrooms, they have readily adapted to using computers at home as their new “classroom.” All grades are learning new concepts and continuing on with their lesson plans. Teachers in Kindergarten-Grade 4 hold remote classes each day for two hours and provide additional assignments for students to do independently or with parental supervision. Teachers in Grades 5-8 hold two remote classes, with each class lasting one hour and forty-five minutes, so students in the School’s Upper Building have almost four hours of class each day as they continue to follow lesson plans and have assigned homework.

Students and parents have responded very positively to the remote learning roll-out. Students are thrilled to be able to see their teachers and classmates on Zoom, and even enjoy the opportunity to keep learning. Teachers sometimes leave the call open after they are done with lessons to allow students time to visit with their friends and classmates. While the ZOOM classroom and homework is not a full 6-hour school day, parents who already stayed home, or who are now working from home for the first time, have expressed appreciation that their children are making productive use of their time and are still learning and staying focused for a good part of the day, which allows parents to maintain their own focus on work and home necessities. Parents have expressed their appreciation to the school principal, including, “Thank you all so much I think you’re all doing a wonderful job. I am so very impressed with how quickly you got these kids back on schedule. The routine is works out so well.” Another parent wrote, “Mrs. O’Connor is doing so amazing with the 2nd graders. She is one of a kind. Her patience and presentation is out of this world!!”

Preschool students are also enjoying Zoom classes. Mrs. Ferlisi, the Preschool Director, read her 4-year-old class “Dragons Love Tacos” last week, and then showed them how to make a paper taco with household items, such as paper bags and crumpled napkins. She finished the lesson by walking into her kitchen as her husband made real tacos and asked the students what ingredients he should use. Mrs. Wells, who teaches the 3-year old preschool class, assembled work packets for her students, who were able to pick them up in the “drive-by” area set up in the school parking lot. PLEASE NOTE THE PHOTOS INCLUDED AS ATTACHMENTS TO THIS EMAIL RELATE TO THE ST. CHARLES PRESCHOOL PROGRAM. Attachment 1 shows student Ren Kato watching Preschool teacher Janet Ferlisi during a lesson. Attachment 2 is the taco Mrs. Ferlisi showed students to make; Attachment 3 depicts a Zoom class for St. Charles pre-school; Attachment 4 depicts the 3-yr old preschool program teacher, Mrs. Heather Wells, as she prepared to distribute work packets to students.

The Superintendent of Catholic Schools recently recognized St. Charles School for a lesson for Kindergarten students, who made pretzels at home because it is like arms crossed in prayer during Lent: