Pace Brantley Students attend classes remotely with teachers during COVID-19 school closure
(Longwood, Florida) The classrooms at Pace Brantley School may be empty but the school’s virtual rooms across Central Florida are full of Pace Brantley students learning the curriculum they normally would in their traditional classroom.
The school switched over to a Remote Learning Plan, on Wednesday March 25, to keep their students on track and learning during the school closure due to COVID-19. “In creating a plan for our students we had to intentionally think about our students, their unique learning differences, and the best way to reach them daily that would encourage them to participate, engage in instruction, and receive feedback that allows them to grow from their learning experience each day,” says Pam Tapley, Head of School at Pace Brantley.
What sets Pace Brantley School apart from other distance learning programs? The students are online with their teachers almost the entire day. “We didn’t want to be a school that was making parents “homeschool teachers” Tapley says, “we wanted to be a school that provided quality instruction during this critical time of uncertainty and a sense of calm community for our families.”
Students are receiving synchronous instruction with their teachers using Zoom and/or Google Hangouts
Meet. They are following a slightly modified version of their block schedule as they would during a day on
campus. The teachers are using curriculum maps and are focusing on the material needed for the students to be promoted to the next grade level. Attendance is taken during each live lesson held with students, just like during a regular school day.
“Through the structure we have in place; I have been able to maintain consistency for learning and provide individual support for all of my students, '' says Katie Reekie, 8th Grade Reading and Language Arts Teacher/ ELA Department Chair. “I feel so blessed to work with such a talented and supportive group of educators and I get to teach the most amazing group of students every day! It makes my heart happy to see the smiling faces of my students. ”
The teachers at Pace Brantley embraced this new learning plan and really enjoy seeing their students.
“Our remote learning plan has made it possible for us to continue having those meaningful connections with students that make our job so wonderful and special,” says Rachel Colón, M.Ed. Middle School Mathematics and High School Electives Teacher. “We are able to interact and be there for our students, only this time, from a distance! I have loved seeing the students take ownership of our new online "normal" as they continue to learn and interact with one another in our virtual classrooms.”
“My remote teaching experience could not be off to a better start,” says Jennifer Portilla, Middle School Social Studies/ Reading Middle School Team Leader. “The remote learning plan created by our administration has set us up for success but is flexible enough to implement for everyone. It has been
awesome to see the students again!”
“I feel very lucky and proud to work with such an incredible group of kids, and their patient and supportive
parents, “ says Lindsay Tabora Fifth Grade Teacher and Elementary Team Leader. “The positive attitudes and can-do spirit have been the most important part of negotiating these major changes.”
The students and families at Pace Brantley are thrilled with this new way of learning during the COVID-19 crisis. Below is the feedback we have received so far from Pace Brantley parents.
“Pace is so amazing. The kids are going to be right on track, as if none of this ever happened. Thanks to the dedicated teachers and administrators who worked so hard to make this happen for our kids!”
“ Great job Pace Brantley School for making this odd transition easier and more comfortable. It has put a
huge smile on my face. It’s an unexpected benefit of this crazy situation we are living in, and trying our best to figure out. I feel blessed. “
“I’ve never seen my son stick to a schedule better AND be so focused. Thank you Pace Brantley!”
“My son is going about his school day and attending classes, just like he would on campus. It’s truly amazing”
“Going into this new adventure, I wasn’t sure what to expect! (Teacher) made the learning process easy and fun! Her constant reassurance and calmness filled our room! Thank you (teacher) and thank you Pace Brantley for all your support as we continue to navigate through this challenging time!!”
This won’t take the place of direct instructions and social interaction between teachers and students, but it’s a great alternative during an uncertain time. “We hope our students feel supported, and our families know we are here to provide an uninterrupted quality education that meets their expectations of us when they committed to sharing and entrusting their child(ren) to us for their educational needs, ” says Tapley.
Pace Brantley School is an independent non-profit school for students with learning disabilities. Our school has a special population of students with a wide variety of learning differences, such as Dyslexia, ADHD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and Language Delay. Pace Brantley School was founded in 1972 and currently serves over 160 students from four surrounding counties and 37 zip codes, ranging from first grade through twelfth grade. The school provides a full academic curriculum, small student/teacher ratios, the latest in educational techniques and technology, and confidence building skills to all of our students. Our mission is to provide innovative research-based instruction, in order to maximize learning opportunities while building self-confidence, and prepares students for life and career readiness. We “celebrate” uniqueness.