The Learning Center adapts during virtual learning

The Foxcroft Learning Center team was ready to tackle the challenge of switching to distance learning when it was first announced back in March. A lot of their work involves close relationships with students, being present, and being able to have one-to-one conversations. So, while they put their heads together and made a plan, Director of Student Services Erin Abbott sent an email to connect with students and their families. The message was simple: we are continuing to support the girls while they learn in this new virtual environment, and if any students not previously signed up for regular meetings would like to do so moving forward — let us know!
Currently, 60 students are checking in regularly with Erin and her team, Ellie Meyer, Beth O’Quinn, and Laura Moan, to make sure students are understanding assignments, managing their time, and often just to connect and have a conversation. “We spend from 8am to around 3:30pm each day having individual Zoom sessions with students,” Erin explains, “After week three or four, we opened up a Learning Center class. It runs like many of the other teachers run tutorials. The girls can sign up for time, or they can just drop in. Students often have signed in and kept their microphone on mute while they work on an assignment, occasionally unmuting to ask a quick question. Other students benefit from more in-depth content area support so we are able to work with that student in a break-out room on the Zoom platform.” The girls and the Learning Center team have adapted to this virtual learning space and re-created the comfort and collaboration of the physical Learning Center online!

Ellie Meyer, Learning Center Assistant, reflects, “A lot of the students I work with have really impressed me over the past few weeks. Simple tasks are now critical learning opportunities. Things like how to write an email to request help from a teacher, or how to formulate questions to be the most helpful — instead of just ‘how do you do this?’” Ellie and Erin agree that they have seen a rise in independent and critical thinking. With topics that are normally discussed in a classroom setting,  students may now have to process the information on their own and then post reactions to FlipGrid or a classroom blog space. This gives them a chance to form questions and follow lines of thought without the influence of classmates. “It’s driving some of our quieter and more introverted students to speak up as well, which is awesome to see. These are skills they’ll be able to carry forever,” Erin shares and cannot help but smile.

Another wonderful relationship to sprout from distance learning is the connection between the Learning Center and Foxcroft families. Erin, Ellie, Beth, and Laura all agree that in light of such crazy circumstances, they have really appreciated the partnership and overall support from parents and families. “We’re not physically in the same room, so we rely on teamwork with the parents. The families have been very welcoming and wonderful, so appreciative and on-board with everything. It’s encouraging,” Erin shares.

What was originally an unexpected and unique situation has proven to be an opportunity for Foxcroft girls to rise and thrive, with many thanks going to the Learning Center team for being such excellent critical thinkers and problem solvers themselves — skills they help cultivate in our students every day.

You can make a gift today to support vital programming like Foxroft's Learning Center, which has been instrumental in helping our girls adapt to distance learning.

Click Here to Give
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.