We have spent the last several months reviewing feedback, analyzing research, and consulting with experts. Along with significant investments in our technology infrastructure and platforms, this work will allow us to provide families with the option to learn online through our enhanced USM@HOME distance learning program if their children are unable to be on campus due to their health or they do not feel comfortable having their children attend on-campus classes at any time.
Our passionate educators have been provided with resources and professional development opportunities and have worked hard to understand both the technology, as well as the challenges and opportunities, of online learning.
- USM@HOME Distance Learning: We have enhanced our USM@HOME program, which balances synchronous (real-time) online teaching and collaboration with asynchronous (independent, offline) learning, over the past several months. This balance—as well as other teaching methods—is structured to be age-appropriate for students in all grade levels. USM@HOME may be used when families need to, or make the decision to, have their child learn from home. It may also be used if the school is mandated to, or we make the decision to, move fully to distance learning at any point during this upcoming school year. Our teachers have spent the summer undergoing extensive training in online education to improve the online experience. In Preschool, Lower School, and Middle School, this will mean increased contact time during the school day, as compared to what was in place from March through June in the previous school year.
- Meeting Owl (by Owl Labs): We will be introducing this new technology for all grade levels. The Meeting Owl smart video conferencing camera captures 360-degree video and audio for a near face-to-face experience for both students and teachers, who will be able to remain connected in more meaningful and impactful ways when students are not able to be in on-campus classrooms. This new technology will be used in tandem with the Zoom platform.
- Technology Support: The USM technology team will remain available to all students, families, and faculty for remote support and troubleshooting needs.
Frequently asked questions will be available soon.