CA Middle School art class takes place over Zoom.

Zoom School starts at CA

Colorado Academy Kindergarten teacher Lindsey Owens was hosting her classroom’s morning meeting—not with children in a circle as they would be most days, but in the “gallery view” of a virtual classroom on Zoom video conferencing.

“Show me a thumbs up if you can see the blue writing,” Owens asked. She shared her screen with students and ran through the day’s schedule, including a read-aloud of one of her favorite books and handwriting work at the end of the day.

Upper School and Middle School

Across the virtual campus, Upper School English teacher and REDI Lab instructor Tom Thorpe set some ground rules for students’ interaction each day on Zoom, and he asked them to bring five words to class each day: a thought, something that they want to share or are seeking reaction to, or a question they want answered.

As the class went on, with students’ dogs barking in the background, Thorpe engaged the students. “Today we’re going to get back to radical collaboration,” he said. Students had questions about how group work should look and about other online logistics.

“Overall, students were talking about what surprised them during these days,” Thorpe added. “What is catching their attention are the creative, caring, and kind solutions that communities are developing in the face of the COVID-19.”

The parent of a Seventh Grade student described the first day as having a lot of positive energy. “My Seventh Grader is thrilled with his new set-up and online learning.”

Strength and Conditioning

In Strength and Conditioning, Coach Wes Kirk’s virtual class, he showed the screen workouts he had prepared for students to do at home. “Focus on your movement and work on your form,” he said. “We want to work to maintain your strength that we have built, so that we don’t have to start over when we get you back.”

In Pre-Kindergarten, students were divided into small groups for their first online meetings. “The kids were all so excited to be back and see each other,” said Sadie Christlieb. “It was amazing to see how they already knew class expectations (like raising a quiet hand) without needing to be reminded. They were ready for school and actually pretty excited about the new experience.”

“I am so grateful for the enthusiastic work of our teachers,” said Head of School Dr. Mike Davis, who had been jumping into virtual classes all morning. “To put this together in a short period of time is nothing short of phenomenal. It underscores for me how our school mission and school culture have never been more important.”