“PAREF Springdale transitions with SMILE to online learning”

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While schools were challenged to transition to online learning, PAREF Springdale School has already embedded in its system the use of technology to supplement classroom teaching and constant parent collaboration in its endeavors.

Through the years, PAREF Springdale has supplemented their curriculum with web-based lessons, virtual experiments, online activities and assessments while maintaining its rigorous standards.

This strategy allowed students to acquire the right disposition and attitude towards technology, which made the transition to online classes easier.

Recognizing the imperative shift to online learning, PAREF Springdale made preparations, assessed different platforms, and looked at the viable technology for online classes.

Because of the pandemic, PAREF Springdale innovated its teaching methods with Springdale’s Modified Instruction and Learning Environment (SMILE), Springdale’s alternative means of curricular delivery amid the pandemic.

SMILE uses modified resources, materials and references that enrich regular classroom learning and allow conversation and collaboration between teachers and students.

The current learning system uses Genyo e-learning and Google Classroom as its learning management systems. Genyo e-Learning is a fully-integrated online learning platform that offers interactive multimedia content on English, Science, Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan and Filipino.

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It enables students to access digital lessons assigned to them by their teachers as well as monitor their own performance in exams through automated assessment tools. Students could also collaborate and participate in online discussions with their teachers and co-students through the Announcement Board, Forum, Blog, and Messages.

On the other hand, Google Classroom is another learning management system that helps learners become fully engaged in the learning process. Students can interact with each other through oral and written channels in Google Classroom, which allows them to develop their independence and critical thinking skills.

To maximize learning, PAREF Springdale also reduced the number of students per class. For the Grades 1-3, classes were reduced from the regular 20 students to only 10 students. For Grades 4 to 12, there are only 15 students, down from the previous average 20 to 25 students.

While the teachers are already comfortable using technology in their physical classes before the pandemic, they still underwent Google Suite training sessions to fully assist students and their parents in the new learning setup.

Despite the enrollment decline for school year 2020-2021, PAREF Springdale strived to maintain the quality of education it is noted for without any tuition fee increase.

PAREF Springdale’s preparation, however, did not stop there. The School coordinated with parents, discussing with them the requirements for a conducive remote learning setup, such as additional bandwidth in their homes so their children could attend online classes.

Parents were also taught how to navigate the virtual platform that will be used for the online classes.

To ensure that the online classes run smoothly, the school conducted a trial run before the official start of classes.

As the school year progressed, the academic unit of the School continuously revisited their existing procedures and practices to further improve the existing learning system.

The School also planned for unforeseen circumstances such as slow internet connection and power interruptions by recording the learning sessions to enable students to access these later.

Meanwhile, parents also appreciated the home-school collaboration, which enabled them to adopt to the online system. If they have questions or difficulty in accessing the system, teachers provide feedback and online assistance through their online chat group.

Students who are academically-challenged are also given sufficient assistance to reach the School’s curricular standards, coupled with regular communication with the parents.

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Teachers also act as students’ mentors through one-on-one periodic sessions to help students achieve their academic goals.

To maintain a semblance of normalcy, PAREF Springdale continues to maintain its regular activities such as the football club, the holding of daily Masses and the father-son bonding, among others.

PAREF Springdale also plans to have a virtual graduation ceremony so the graduating students could also celebrate this significant milestone in their academic journey.

Moving forward, PAREF Springdale is looking at the possibility of blended learning — a mix of physical and online classes — when the pandemic is resolved to keep up with the changing situation.

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