The Middle School is committed to offering a robust, student-centered distance learning experience that considers the students’ social, emotional and intellectual well-being. The e-learning program is designed to meet the academic maturity of each grade level from Grades 5–8.
Middle School students are not quite ready for a self-guided, self-paced, online learning experience. They need a team around them to thrive in this model. The faculty, administration, students and parents/guardians are a collective team.
Roles and Responsibilities
Faculty: Building and facilitating classes
Administration: Developing learning resources, troubleshooting and training
Students: Learning and engaging in lessons
Parents/Guardians: Offering general support and daily check-ins
I am so proud of how our Middle School community has come together to support one another in this unusual time. The innovation, critical thinking and adaptability that has occurred has allowed our teachers and students to be successful with the e-learning platform."
—Kristy Johnson, assistant Head of Middle School
Synchronous and Independent (Asynchronous) Learning
We are mindful of the amount of screentime and sitting that comes with an e-learning model. Our synchronous and asynchronous schedules incorporate breaks for which we encourage our students to unplug and participate in an active activity. Additionally, we continue to offer independent PE classes.
Features of the E-Learning Schedule
Simplified Monday to Friday schedule
Advisory check-ins each morning
Significant screen and play breaks for our students (and faculty) during the day
Synchronized academic blocks with Upper School
Time for our teachers to continue to prepare high-quality e-learning experiences
A late start to ease the morning
Family lunchtime across all divisions
Redefined homework policy
Well defined office hours for students to meet with teachers
Joe Rowling, Middle School music educator, played and recorded multiple instruments to create a rendition of Imagine by John Lennon for his fifth-graders as a practice track.
Math educator Pam Madigan created an at-home vertical motion model activity for Grade 8 algebra students. Parents and younger siblings were encouraged to participate.
Students in Grade 7 Mandarin class practice speaking in Mandarin with a partner over Zoom.
Discussions can be facilitated in the learning management system. Students in history discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact, societal roles and individual responsibilities.
Grade 8 science, engineering unit: Students created masks that protect against the transmission of COVID-19. They learned about the engineering process, including patent research, visual modeling, the efficiency of materials and prototyping.
It’s [e-learning] definitely made me more aware of how to use time more wisely. I’m thinking about how I facilitate their growth while being flexible and adaptable to make sure that I’m not giving myself any barriers to doing the best that I can."
—Andy D’Avanzo, Middle School math educator
In English and history, students investigate a historical circumstance of intolerance or oppression as part of the annual Facing History and Ourselves project. Topics range from the Cambodian Genocide to Japanese Internment to the Underground Railroad.
Students in seventh-grade algebra demonstrate their knowledge of linear equations in a Google Slide presentation.
The Middle School play production of Treasure Island has been reimagined to a podcast. Students met with the executive artistic director and adapted writer of Treasure Island, Todd Espeland, over Zoom.
"The LJCDS e-learning program has been a gift to our family. Our Middle School faculty and administration have worked tirelessly to ensure our students continue to learn and grow during this challenging time. Whether my child is recording lines from Romeo and Juliet for a collective performance or creating an obstacle course to solve a math problem, the teachers are providing innovative lesson plans and collaborative projects that keep my children engaged and inspired to learn."