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Distance Learning

As a member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, Sacred Heart Academy is guided by the five Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education. Through the academic program at Sacred Heart, our focus on Goal 2: a deep respect for intellectual values continues throughout distance learning.

Our outstanding Sacred Heart Educators know how to engage their students and encourage deep critical thinking, even from a distance. Sacred Heart’s small class sizes, all-girl environment, and strong student-teacher relationship supports our ability to provide an outstanding learning environment both in and outside of the classroom.

Synchronous

Synchronous takes place when an entire class, or small groups of a class, meet together at the same time. We know how important relationships are in learning, and these sessions will be used primarily to connect with each other in a meaningful way and to give student support on their work.

Asynchronous

Asynchronous learning occurs with teacher-to-student and student-to-student interactions, but not in real time. It relies on discussion boards (both written and video), email, notes, reading assignments, video clips, or problem sets to name a few. This format provides flexibility for the student and tasks them to organize their time well.

SHA Model

Best practice for online learning includes a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning methods. Our model gives teachers the option to decide which synchronous and asynchronous methods will work best for their class; provides students and teachers with both structure and flexibility; includes time for teachers to be available for questions as students are working on assignments; includes time for advisors to check in with their groups as well as time for teachers to collaborate and communicate.

Distance Learning Structure

Virtual SHA provides a balance of structure and flexibility that will work for our families and teachers when distance learning is required. Best practices for distance learning were evaluated as well as feedback from the SHA community. We feel it is important to provide opportunities for face-to-face interaction. The schedule is a 5-day rotation, including alternating Red/White days and special "Sophie" days on Fridays. 

Throughout distance learning, attendance continues to be important, and will be recorded. Upper School students participate in Advisory. Middle School students attend Community Time and Homeroom. Lower School classes attend Homeroom in the morning and close the day with Community Time. These are great opportunities to check in with each other and build our SHA distance learning community. Teacher office hours are held at the end of each day for students to ask questions if needed. 

Virtual School Video Example

Community Engagement

Sacred Heart Academy provides mission-consistent, flexible, and student-centered programs, in and out of the classroom. Goal 3: the building of community as a Christian value continues to be a cornerstone during the virtual campus experience. Students continue to partake in the many Sacred Heart traditions virtually including but not limited to:

  • Prayer Services
  • Advisory
  • Prize Day
  • Lily Procession
  • Community Time
  • Distance Choir
  • College Counseling
  • School Counseling

 

Staying Engaged

Prayer Service
Virtual Prayer Service

Over 120 students, faculty and family members gathered for a virtual prayer service celebrating the unique 37 young women from the Class of 2020. The valued traditions of a Sacred Heart Education were adjusted to meet the expectations of a virtual space while still keeping the deeply rooted importance of the tradition.

Community
SHA Cares

Home to school communications, teacher to student communications, and digital connections for continued learning were quickly adapted by the community to ensure the intellectual development of our students continued. Co-curricular activities continued with modifications to ensure the social and emotional development of our students was also a priority.

Author Visit
Beyond the Books

During distance learning, students continued to enjoy the benefits of a small school through activities that supported the curriculum. Some of the activities were Author "Zoom" visits, Elementary reading with "Books and Barks", Peer poetry reading marking Poetry Month, Traditional Prize Day Celebrations and more.

College
College Bound

Seniors were featured by the student council social media coordinator with their college choice on Instagram. The community celebrated the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. The school enjoyed the social connection on the many SHA platforms.

Exploring Astronomy

Upper School Physics enjoyed guest speaker, Don Knabb from the Chester County Astronomical Society as he shared a virtual tour of the Solar System and the Milky Way galaxy using software called Mitaka.   

Digital Resources

Students and teachers adapted to distance learning through the use of several tools such as Flipgrid, Screencastify and Google Meets. All assignments were posted on the school portal keeping students organized and in a routine for learning.

Good Morning SHAmerica

Upper School student council continued to connect the school with their weekly production of "Good Morning SHAmerica". They also added a weekly feature that highlighted the creative work of students through a tutorial type video.

Our Sacred Heart Educators

Sacred Heart Educators quickly adapted their teaching plans to an online platform that never waivered the level of curriculum goals. Division Directors, teachers, and school counselors were available to offer additional support to students and families during this difficult time.

School Counseling Resources

Guidance counselors are vital members of the education team as they help in all areas of development: academic, personal/social, and college readiness.

Sacred Heart counselors continue the wellness curriculum throughout distance learning, as well as being available for students to discuss individual needs.

Learn more about the Sacred Heart Counseling program here.

SHA Voices

crest

“Each teacher I hear interacting with my girls is consistently asking how they are and what’s going on. I appreciate this care and concern.”

SHA PARENT
 

SHA Crest

“We are very pleased with everything that SHA is doing to handle this unprecedented situation. We appreciate the time that the teachers and administration have dedicated to making this a success. The attention to security and ability to change platforms for video conferencing was seamless and impressive.”

SHA PARENT

SHA Crest

“I still feel as though I am being challenged in the same way I would in a classroom. My teachers are doing a good job finding creative ways to create assignments!” 

SHA STUDENT

SHA Crest

“It's been a highlight to chat with the girls every day. I like seeing them have fun with the activities. My sophomores love making videos, and they did a great job with a video project I had assigned in place of a test."

SHA EDUCATOR