We am incredibly proud of our faculty and students who have done an outstanding job managing distance learning these past months. They have had to be creative and come together as a community to figure out ways to finish out the school year. We asked our teachers to share some of what they were doing for our students:
We are currently working on plans for our August return. As our country and our community begin to resume normal activities, we are taking the lessons we have learned over the past 6 weeks and creating a plan for our future. We have created task forces to plan for a number of scenarios when we return in the fall. These task forces are comprised of faculty, administration and Advisory Committee members and will be charged with reviewing current policies and practices in the areas of Safety, Technology, Financial Planning and Staff.
We wanted you to know how hard we are working to maintain the level of excellence we are so well known for at McGill-Toolen Catholic. We are grateful for your prayers and support. I have seen our Yellow Jacket community come together in amazing ways during this crisis and it has made us stronger.
May God continue to bless you and your family,
Director of Advancement
Mary Carter, English “Because the students already knew how to use the iPad as a learning tool, we were off and running with distance learning. The digital tools at our disposal make it possible for asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities. Students have used video conferencing and collaborative platforms like Flipgrid and VideoAnt. We have class discussions twice a week so that we can dive deeper into the content and stay connected. I am thankful for our technology capabilities. It has allowed me to continue working with our students on an academic level, but just as important, we are checking on one another. We still sing Happy Birthday on someone's big day, show off our new puppies, pray for aging grandparents, and laugh when a sibling pops in on our Zoom sessions. Covid-19 might have closed the building, but we are still McT,”
Math teacher Kristin Brack shared what a week in her class looks like; “On Sunday I send a checklist of the week's assignments via student email accounts. Monday through Friday I send an email at 8am every morning (consistency is important) which includes: Flipgrid link to share good news or intentions for prayer, morning prayer, video lecture with a PDF of notes from the lecture, an assignment that I post on iTunesU by 8:00AM due the next day and optional weekly Zoom Q&A for students that need extra help. Students can post questions by 3:00PM and receive a response by 6:00PM. Tests/Quizzes are designated at a specific day and time with a week notice. Students with time conflicts or extended time communicate with me directly in advance for additional testing options. Google Form Survey is released every two weeks to see how the kids are doing with distance learning and I adjust as needed. Prior to testing, I email students individually with any missing assignments.” Mrs. Brack’s schedule is typical of what many of our teachers are doing.
Our science teachers have created their own YouTube channels for lectures and labs, many of which are recorded in the classroom.One Algebra 2 teacher had students researching various college tuition rates. Junior AP Literature students were asked to draw on their own experiences during this pandemic in a class discussion via the Flip Grid app. The students each recorded and then uploaded a 2 minute video of themselves responding to the prompt: What things are you grateful for or hopeful about during this time of “sheltering in place” amidst the national pandemic? In addition, what are you uncertain or fearful about? They also watched a news segment about possible economic, sociological, and psychological implications of Americans quarantining due to the Corona virus. Their assignment was to compose a written response to the journalist’s claim that "junk values" have permeated American culture lately and that, perhaps, the Corona virus pandemic will be a time for Americans to reassess these values.
Outside of the classroom, our Administrative Team continues to meet every Monday to evaluate how our students and faculty are managing, making adjustments and recommendations weekly. We are utilizing our very own McTLive Network to host virtual awards ceremonies and even stream Mass from our chapel every Thursday. Our Campus Ministry team hosted a virtual spirit week, live Q&A with local priests and virtual trivia nights. Fr. Shields, Mrs. Haas and other members of our administration went on a caravan to deliver awards to our underclassman and seniors following the virtual awards ceremonies last week and today. While we still had to social distance, it was so great to see some of our students and their families. We am hopeful we will all be together in August.
If you'd like to view our virtual events please visit McTlive.org and click "On Demand" select School Events and you'll see a list that includes our Underclassmen Awards Convocation, Senior Awards Convocation, Senior Aquinas Ceremony, Senior Superlatives and our Senior Athlete Signing Ceremony.