“We help students self-reflect and acknowledge what they have been able to learn and accomplish in this challenging time of COVID. Their resilience and adaptability are skills that will serve them in the future.”
While many Twin Cities schools shifted to a distance learning model this fall, the lower school (LS) team at Groves has worked hard to keep students in the building. The LS started the year with in-person learning four days a week and half-day distance learning on Fridays. A greater balance of distance learning was implemented between Thanksgiving and Winter Break.
Groves knows the importance of in-person instruction, especially for students with learning disabilities, and especially our youngest learners. We asked our Lower School Division Directors, Wendy Mathistad and Ann Sinon to comment about challenges and “ah-ha” moments so far this school year. They commented that, while it’s been challenging, the LS team’s focus has been on establishing new safety routines, making connections with students, and building a cohesive learning community.
Ms. Mathistad commented, “Seeing how teachers and students have shown Groves’ core values of authenticity, collaboration, compassion, discovery, and tenacity, especially tenacity, has been inspiring. The students have leaned in and learned so many new technology skills with distance learning. Our students are adapting as things continue to change. We all are working with the ‘we are all in this together’ mindset.”
Mrs. Sinon added, “We help students self-reflect and acknowledge what they have been able to learn and accomplish in this challenging time of COVID. Their resilience and adaptability are skills that will serve them in the future.” A bright spot was a student sharing, “My mom told me I would learn lots of things when I came to Groves but I didn’t think it would happen the first week of school!”
Ms. Mathistad commented, “Our staff is dedicated to the students and working towards developing a deeper relationship since we know that is when true learning
can occur.” Mrs. Sinon added, “We all share a common belief about our students that they can do great things and we are behind them all the way.”
Ms. Mathistad has been at Groves Academy for 22 years and Mrs. Sinon for 14 years. They are grateful to work with such wonderful students, families, and colleagues.
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