What is Gordon@Home?
Gordon@Home is a deeply integrated online academic experience interwoven into the live on-campus learning environment. In each division the program is defined by three key principles: physical and emotional safety, maintaining social connections, and multidisciplinary academic support. A Gordon@Home teacher is dedicated to facilitating learning in partnership with families and on-campus faculty. Gordon@Home teachers will serve as the main point of connection between home and the on-campus experience. In collaboration with appropriate grade level faculty, Gordon@Home teachers will communicate and modify the academic program as needed and collaborate with the house teacher to ensure that @Home students are feeling connected and integrated into the classroom community.
Who is eligible?
Families who have health vulnerabilities may elect to participate in the Gordon@Home program at the beginning of each trimester. Trimesters are September to December (winter break), January to March (spring break), and April to June. For families who decide to move their children from on-campus learning to Gordon@Home mid-trimester, there may be a wait time to transition schedules and adjust staffing. Mid-trimester transfers will need approval from the Assistant Head of School.
Beginning September 10th (the first day of school), we will not allow Gordon@Home students to come to campus for the fall trimester. We are beginning the year conservatively from a health and safety perspective, and while we support parents making decisions to connect their children safely outside of school, we have to respect our on-campus "bubble" because this is the plan that faculty, staff, and students returning to campus will expect.
How does it work?
Gordon@Home and on-campus faculty will provide instruction via a combination of video conferencing hardware and software, virtual whiteboards, and other learning management tools to keep the @Home learning experience consistent with classroom instruction.
In each division, Gordon@Home students are assigned to a house with their classmates and will be able to Zoom into their classes and participate virtually. Gordon@Home students will have all of the teachers their housemates will have. Caregivers will regularly connect with their child’s @Home learning instructor.
The Gordon@Home teacher will support and supplement school work and help the family navigate the @Home experience. This will also ensure that the classroom teachers do not have to manage both the on-campus and @Home classrooms during and after the school day. There will be independent work available through Seesaw or Google Classroom to give families some flexibility in how their child's day is organized as well as help them to manage screen time.
What does Gordon@Home look like in Early Childhood?
In Early Childhood, children learning at home will join their classmates for morning meeting and some whole group Zooms. The @Home teacher will also use Seesaw to facilitate independent learning as well as schedule check-ins throughout the day for story time, math and literacy activities chosen in collaboration with the house teachers. The @Home program is highly individualized and will be designed to provide balance of screen time and individual and small group work time when appropriate. As in our on-campus Early Childhood program, joyful learning is an integral part of the @Home experience and teachers will work closely with parents to provide learning activities that are engaging and purposeful.
What does Gordon@Home look like in Lower School?
The Lower School Gordon@Home teacher will work in collaboration with the house teachers to extend the learning through platforms that children and families are familiar with such as Seesaw and Google Classroom. Students will join their classmates for morning meeting, closing circle, some full class Zooms as well as some lessons taught by the house teacher. For example, when appropriate, the @Home student may attend the first fifteen or twenty minutes of a lesson delivered by the classroom teacher and then work offline or with their @Home teacher to practice skills and deepen their understanding of concepts.
What does Gordon@Home look like in Middle School?
Middle School students learning from home will have opportunities to connect with their classmates and house teachers throughout the day. Attending advisory and closing circle as well as activities where all students would be participating virtually like Common Ground, GSA or Middle School meeting will be important opportunities for @Home students to feel a part of the community. Depending on the subject, @Home students will have the opportunity to Zoom into some or all of their academic courses, and the @Home teacher will meet throughout the day with students individually or in small groups to extend the learning, practice skills and deepen understanding. The @Home students schedule will be structured and individualized, providing consistency and routine for students and parents while allowing for the flexibility required of an effective online learning experience.
How will @Home students and families stay connected to the Gordon community?
All @Home students are assigned a house and will have daily opportunities to connect formally and informally with their classmates and house teacher. Students and families will be invited to all the GCA house get-togethers. We also know that connecting with other @Home families will be important. We are looking forward to hosting regularly scheduled gatherings like the @Home orientation as well as monthly meetings.
Families should download, print, sign and return this commitment form.
Orientation for families
Thursday September 3, 8-9am
The purpose of this orientation is to provide families with an overview of the program, to lay a foundation for the partnership between home and school, engage with the @Home teachers, and build connection among families and students enrolled in Gordon@Home.
Zoom link at www.gordonschool.org/commons
October 13, November 17, December 15, 6:30-7:30pm
Beginning in October, monthly workshops will be scheduled for Gordon@Home families to come together for support, guidance and connection.