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Upper School Director's Notes

A Message from Upper School Director Anna Barter:

Visitation Statue

Dear Visitation Families,

I am happy to report that our Vistance Learning in the Upper School is off to a promising start! Students are reengaging with their classmates and teachers and we are focused on ways in which we learn not just for school but for life. Here is but a sampling of what has happened in the first three days:

In Algebra, Ms. Murray and students are using the COVID-19 outbreak as a case study for exponential growth! They got to model real data of confirmed cases from the beginning of the outbreak and discussed how our real world actions change the pattern of the data.

Pottery students have set up workstations in their homes and are making little coil pots. Mrs. Burg is helping students to share their work with one another via slideshows.

Ms. Malovrh's history classes are making connections to the present moment with the historical moments they are currently studying as well as taking on the role of historians-in-training by documenting the historical significance of present challenges related to COVID-19.

In French class, students and Madame are collaborating in real time via Google Hangouts in preparation for the National French Contest that will take place virtually next week!

Senior Lizzy Dudley is working with Director of Performing Arts, Wendy Short-Hays, on costuming. This week, Lizzy started viewing The English Game on Netflix, watching for specific details such as color palette, cut of a vest, neckties, suspenders, fabric weight and texture and design choices that reflect character, class or occupation.

Ms. Artnstein's Great Nonfiction class had an engaging conversation about the opioid epidemic after watching a Frontline special. The students were as engaged and enthused as always ... even when they had to migrate to an online format.

In AP Environmental Science, Ms. Miller and students are taking this time to look at air quality data and examine how it may be changing due to the lesser amount of driving.

In Spanish III, Dr. Thornberry's students are learning about the "tiny house" movement and how it is growing across the Spanish-speaking world. They are taking virtual tours of tiny houses and re-evaluating their relationships with their own homes and what they need to be happy.

I am thankful for the Upper School team as well as our students and families. Thank you for your continued partnership as we navigate this new way of learning together. We know that our learning platform - PowerSchool Learning - has required patience as it recalibrates to address an increasing volume of activity, and we will continue to provide the most current updates here. We will also be sending out a survey next week so as to grow in our understanding of what is going well and what could be improved upon as we move forward with distance learning.

In the meantime, please continue to reach out to me with questions or concerns.


Sincerely,

Anna Barter, PhD
Director of Upper School