Dear San Domenico Community,

I hope this communication finds you all well and enjoying these summer weeks despite the challenges of the times. We are hard at work preparing to welcome our students back to campus in August! In addition to the myriad health and safety measures we are implementing, I  am excited to share with you some information about the focused professional development that all of our faculty are engaged in this summer in order to prepare for the HyFlex Teaching Model in the fall. 

All of our teachers and a handful of administrators are working collaboratively through professional courses to adjust and redesign their courses to meet the needs of the synchronous and asynchronous learners. By the time we return to school this fall, teachers will have spent a cumulative total of more than 1,100 hours in professional development, made possible by community support of The Stronger Together Fund at SD Cares. (Thank you again!) These courses provide common goals, language, and standards for a highly flexible instruction model (HyFlex). We are conceptualizing and building courses and teaching in multiple modalities (on-campus, online, and blended), examining students’ specific needs in this digital modality, and planning for a future that likely entails some form of distance learning. 

Our K-5 faculty are focused on professional development that will foster collaboration among the teachers, allow for more project-based activities for our students, and prepare students, families and teachers for flexible, supportive learning so that we are prepared to offer our academic program no matter what the situation demands. After their professional development training, teachers will work collaboratively to design and build their classes and will be prepared to offer students a program where all of their academic and social/emotional needs are met. Courses include: PBL Works Online ConferenceDigital Learning for the K-8 Classroom; 21st Century Teaching and Learning.

Our 6-12 faculty are taking the Designing, Building & Teaching for Hybrid Learning course through One Schoolhouse to help them prepare for our HyFlex model of learning in the fall. Additionally, they are engaging in tech workshops to expand their working knowledge of Canvas and other online educational tools. As part of this work, all of our Canvas courses are getting a makeover. In the fall, students and parents can expect to see a more uniform and streamlined design for all 6-12 Canvas courses. They will also experience a more consistent use of its features. Our goal is to reduce friction in the learning process by creating a smoother workflow for students and teachers. 

Several of our academic leaders are also taking the Academic Leadership Training course through One Schoolhouse, and our specialists are engaged in professional development in their specific areas, such as providing impactful learning support models and continuing to provide robust opportunities for socialization and wellness.

I look forward to sharing more in coming weeks regarding our school-level schedules, staffing, and program enhancements.

As always, please contact me directly with any questions.

All the best,

Kate Reeser
Director of Upper School
Assistant Head for Academics, K-12

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