Gunn GO - Global Online

Core Commitment

At The Frederick Gunn School, we see the current global health crisis as a moment of responsibility. Everyone is uneasy in these uncertain times, but as mentors and educators, it is our hope that we can offer the support and direction that our students have come to trust through every available communications tool. While we can't recreate every aspect of school life on our campus from a distance, we can provide a vibrant, interactive, creative, innovative and supportive learning community, and we can and will leverage our skills, experiences, ideas and technology to support our students from wherever they are learning.

Principles

At The Frederick Gunn School, we believe that the good person is always learning—this has long been our motto—and this means a commitment to taking a long view on a life of learning. Of course we want our students to find success in college, but we also want them to adopt a posture of openness and courage to whatever travails they will face throughout life. At the core of our online and hybrid teaching and learning will be the question: 

What are the learning opportunities available to us as teachers and learners when our typical school structures are disrupted?

Principle 1: Integration |  In this time, as always but perhaps more than ever, we need to attend to our physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual wellbeing in an integrated fashion.

Principle 2: Connection |  The internet can be an amazing tool for social connection. Social distancing does not need to mean complete isolation. How can we all maintain physical social distance while simultaneously embracing a life of service—to our families and those most vulnerable? 

Principle 3: Intention |  With a posture of gratitude and hope, we can establish rhythms and habits that support a life of learning wherever we are, whatever the context. 

Academic Time

We created the 10-block daily schedule to support a stable learning rhythm, whether students are on campus or participating virtually. To maximize class time but minimize Zoom fatigue, each course has three class meetings per week for a total of 180 minutes.All courses embrace a truly “hybrid” model, where alongside  in-person class time, students and teachers engage in meaningful learning opportunities outside of the classroom, facilitated by our core technologies: Highlander Nation, Google Suite, and Zoom. All classes, including Advanced Placement, will meet or exceed their learning outcomes through this approach, and students will be supported by teachers, advisors, and our Center for Academic Excellence to fully utilize the hybrid model. If students need to take classes asynchronously based on time zone challenges, they can work with the Academic Office but most students find this issue is addressed by the split schedule, which includes evening classes.

Winterim

Winterim is a faculty-driven academic curriculum that prioritizes intensive student learning focusing on one big idea or question over a three-week period in December. Course offerings range from Social Justice in Documentary Film to Scientific Thinking in Real Life to Songwriting, Superheroes for the Moment, and Cryptography. Classes are blended across all grades and run December 1‒18, 2020. Students dedicate three hours a day, four days a week, to learn in online class, group collaboration, teacher meetings, and independent study. Wednesdays are reserved for community connection including School Meetings and Advisory.

Each class engages in interactive learning live online via Zoom and through collaborative technology tools four days a week. With teacher curated resources, students extend their learning independently using Highlander Nation. Each course is offered on a credit/no credit or pass/fail basis and culminates in a final project in which students demonstrate their learning.

Courses Offer ...

Interdisciplinary Connections & Co-Teaching
Many teachers have formed co-teaching partnerships to combine their disciplinary expertise for rich, contextualized learning.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Learning Experiences
Committed to the development of racial literacy and our growing capacities to speak across difference and listen to understand, teachers have designed courses relevant to our  sociocultural landscape and the lived experiences of high school students today.

Integration of Frederick Gunn’s educational philosophy
Frederick Gunn was an abolitionist, an outdoorsman and naturalist, an educator, social activist and entrepreneur. For Mr. Gunn, making art was a social and community project, and he was committed to the betterment of his local community. He was engaged with the political issues of his day. He was known to be extremely warmhearted and fun. Learn more about Mr. Gunn and how we are adapting his values and ideals for students today here

Place-based learning
Remote learning opens up, in our case, a world of possibilities. We will quite literally have students learning together from their homes, their cities and towns across the United States, at home in North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.  This is an incredible opportunity for students to explore their own setting, and bring unique resources, experiences and perspectives back to the shared learning of our school community.

Technology

Three technologies provide the backbone of our distance learning experience. 

LIVE CLASSROOMS conducted using Zoom

INTERACTIVE LEARNING using Google Suite as the main technology for connecting one-on-one with students and connecting students with one another

INDEPENDENT STUDY facilitated by Highlander Nation as the repository for all digital resources and assignments.

Technology is supported by our Educational Technology Team (reachable at edtech@frederickgunn.org). That team is led by our Library Director, Ed Surjan, and is supported by BJ Daniels, Director of Technology, and MaryAnn Haverstock, Director of Online Studies and Director of IDEAS Lab. The team also works collaboratively with Kristin Hoins, Director of The Center for Academic Excellence, to support students in a virtual learning environment.  

Assessment

Distance Learning is supported by academic grades that reflect proactive participation by students in the online environment. We believe grades are a means of communication between teachers, students, and other educational institutions, the purpose of which is to increase the learning experience of students themselves, their growth, and their achievement. Although we have divided our annual academic schedule into six modules in order to preserve planning flexibility, grades will be converted into our normal trimester transcript presentation. This importantly provides seamless information to colleges considering our students at all points in the future.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is taken during live classes. Students are expected to participate in all live classes. The schedule was designed to create as much continuity for our community as possible. The general expectation is that students will be in live classes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breaks for meals, homework, co-curriculars (when students are on campus) and to maintain physical and mental well-being. We are offering one evening class block per day in order to help our students located in distant time zones so that they have more synchronous classroom experiences. This is an example of our families helping fellow students, yet in some instances this will result in day students being assigned to evening classes.

If a student is having technical issues with Zoom, please send an email to your teacher and edtech@frederickgunn.org in the moment. Failure to send this email and work to resolve connectivity issues will result in an absence being entered for class. 

Classes may be recorded and shared by the teacher if a student misses a class or experiences technical difficulties. Recordings will be circulated to excused students by the teacher as soon as they are made available by Zoom. Teachers may require that students who are unable to attend the live class meet during Office Hours. 

If a student skips a class, they and their parents will receive a commitment absence notification. Students should expect that absences will have a direct impact on their grade.

Academic Integrity | The Pledge in a Digital Learning Community

Students are reminded that The Pledge remains an important part of our shared academic life. Students will be asked to continue PO’ing assignments. Cases of academic dishonesty will continue to be treated with the utmost seriousness.

FAQ’S ABOUT OUR VIRTUAL LEARNING COMMUNITY

(Submit a question to cae@frederickgunn.org)

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