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Saddle River Day Successfully Transitions to Remote Learning

Saddle River Day Successfully Transitions to Remote Learning
Gretchen Lee

“It’s the teachers that make the difference, not the classroom.” Michael Morpurgo, author

In keeping with the New Jersey State mandate that all private and public schools remain closed indefinitely, SRDS understood the transition to remote learning became a necessity that needed to happen in a very short time frame. Under the leadership of newly appointed Head of School, Jalaj Desai, and the superb work of Technology Director, Laura Hollis and her team of Niles Patel and Verne Becker, this transition happened seamlessly and successfully. Remote learning officially began on Tuesday, March 24th.

Faculty and staff spent the second week of their spring “break” immersed in setting up their virtual classrooms, researching online teaching resources, and working tirelessly to ensure that remote instruction was easily accessible and clearly communicated for everyone involved so they would be ready to go on the 24th.  Using the Google Meet platform, students followed the same schedule as they had when they were on campus to maintain some level of stability. In addition, the administrative team felt strongly that the ability to “see” and interact with classmates and teachers was important when students don’t currently have the luxury of meeting their friends in person.

“Exciting, fun, engaging” - these were words that described the first two weeks of remote learning at SRDS. In addition, parent feedback was incredibly positive. One parent wrote: “I have to say, the bar is set pretty high to begin with at SRDS. But you, the teachers, students and staff, just blew it out of the water today!” Another wrote: “Giving our children a regular schedule, their virtual classroom, and the chance to all be together learning live is such a gift - not only for their education but also for their psyche.”

A good teacher is someone who gives their students and those around them something to think about other than homework… someone who believes in their students and inspires them and others around them to be better… someone who goes above and beyond, even when they are not specifically asked to do so. During one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history, SRDS is so proud of its faculty and staff for the work they have done to make the transition to remote learning as seamless as possible. We are also grateful to our families for the positive engagement and support they have shown during this stressful time. The SRDS community has bonded together in a way we have never experienced before.

The school will continue to monitor the situation carefully, based on state and federal guidelines. Please log in to www.saddleriverday.org/covid19 and www.saddleriverday.org/remotelearning for the latest updates. Also, we invite you to follow #RemoteRebels on social media to see how our “Rebels” are engaged in remote learning.

Rebel Pride is alive and well at Saddle River Day School!