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Archives Ticonderoga school is ‘#bettertogethersaferapart’

May 20, 2020

By Pamela Arzberger
St. Mary’s School

TICONDEROGA – St. Mary’s School anticipated the closure of schools on March 11, 2020. At a March 12th emergency Faculty Meeting, Principal Sister Sharon Anne Dalton discussed the need to prepare all options for Distance Learning for the PreK through Grade 8 school. The teachers and support staff went to work immediately compiling online resources, student login and password information, and practicing accessing the programs with the students. On Friday, March 13th the eighth-grade students went to lower grades and taught them how to use Google Classroom. Grades PreK through 1 already had online programs SeeSaw and Class DoJo up and running for home/school communication and academic work.

Schools officially closed on Monday, March16, and St. Mary’s began their distance and online learning program that day. Approximately 85% of the students were prepared and learning online the first day. Within the first week 93% of the students were doing their schoolwork and interacting with their teachers online. During the second week of NY PAUSE, St. Mary’s Junior High began classes and meetings online through the group Google Classroom app. At this time, all classes work every school day, and students continue to flourish.

“Our school’s great success with Online Learning could not happen without the hard work and dedication of our teachers. They and the parents deserve the credit for our success during this difficult time,” said Sister Sharon. “The teachers continue to find new online sources to use as well as using good old-fashioned teaching techniques. The students are doing a fantastic job, and we appreciate the parents guiding them with the technology. Our students are interacting with their teacher every single day by screen visits, class meetings, email, Google Classroom messaging and interactive lessons with educational apps.”

St. Mary’s School is not only educating its students, but they are also keeping their community connected through social media. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there is a spirit theme put out on Facebook where students post pictures of different activities. The school has the slogan #bettertogethersaferapart and #stmarysstrong. Since March 23, the school Facebook page has had over 16,000 views of these posts. Students get to see each other virtually and can share fun things or activities they are enjoying during this stay-at-home period. Themes have included sharing artwork, pets, new chores at home, books they are reading, their online gym class, their home classroom, and favorite superheroes. Students have shared projects such as making rainbows, making signs with messages to classmates, and building snowmen in March. Fun spirit days have been a pajama day, “May the Fourth Be With You,” Adulting at Home, and wearing their St. Mary’s blue and white. Students have celebrated Easter, Earth Day, and May Day virtually. It has been a very fun way for the school community to be together when they must stay apart.

On Saturday, May 16, the teachers and Staff of St. Mary’s were in front of the school with signs and messages for the students and families.

“St. Mary’s has been through a lot during our 61 years,” Sister Sharon said. “In 2014 our building was destroyed by an arson fire and we rebuilt. This is a challenging time for everyone, but we will get through this together as a dedicated community and as a family. We are, after all, St. Mary’s Strong.”

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