While schools shut down across the country last spring during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Derby community quickly pivoted to our remote teaching and learning program. Over the course of the spring, our faculty truly went above and beyond to support, challenge, and inspire our students during the transition. Through hard work, dedication, and a lot of patience, our community came together and maintained the strong relationships, mentorships, and partnerships our school is known for. Here are just some of the ways our faculty went the extra mile during distance learning.
1. Special Delivery!
Our Grade 8 students’ final year at Derby is a special time. As our year-end celebrations were reimagined, our teachers made sure our Grade 8 students were honored and celebrated. Taking time out of their busy work schedules, faculty members drove across the South Shore to the homes of our Grade 8 class and hand-delivered lawn signs and cheered our soon-to-be graduates. Our students were even able to experience a virtual “walk” down Fearing Road and continue a time-honored Derby tradition. The cheers, shouts, and applause from faculty helped celebrate one of the most anticipated traditions at Derby.
2. A New Way to Celebrate
Our 229th Derby Day was transformed into a car procession this year, featuring a fun-filled day of music, smiles, and laughter to cheer our graduating class. With streamers and posters in hand, the faculty celebrated the students who waved from their car windows and sunroofs and received their special Grade 8 packages and diplomas.
3. Welcome Home
As Derby made the switch to remote teaching and learning, our faculty quickly transformed their homes into new learning environments for students. Living areas evolved into art studios, kitchens resembled science labs, and backyards became gyms as our teachers helped bridge the distance between remote learning and creating engaging lessons for students.
Not being in a traditional classroom setting created some unique challenges during remote learning, but faculty still found ways to incorporate the differentiated instruction found during a normal day at Derby. Individual academic and social/emotional instruction, grade-level meetings, and small math and literacy groups and workshops were part of our day. Live Spanish, art, or music classes supplemented asynchronous learning as our faculty allocated time for office hours, resource periods, and check-ins to ensure students were supported in their academics.
5. Pushing the Envelope
Dance parties, cooking classes, virtual group lunches...Thinking outside the box was crucial to keeping students engaged and motivated, and our faculty did just that by consistently bringing forth new and exciting ideas to the table. Funny Student Council skits captured the highs and lows of Zoom, virtual field day activities kept students active, and virtual art exhibits put their artwork in the spotlight. Throughout the spring, faculty creatively found new ways to keep the activities (and welcome new ideas) that students know and love during a traditional spring at Derby.
Want to learn more? Keep reading about our Remote Teaching and Learning program here >