VillaVoice_Summer_2020 FINAL | Page 9

HIGHLIGHTS & HAPPENINGS Education Villa 8th Graders Earn Record Scholarships St. Ursula Villa’s Class of 2020 amassed a new school record of more than $982,500 in high school merit scholarship offers to 51% of the class. These offers and awards from Cincinnati’s competitive high schools are based on High School Placement Test (HSPT) scores, student academic records, and teacher recommendations. Additionally, 97% of the Class of 2020 was accepted into their first-choice high school. Successful transition and placement into competitive high schools is the hallmark of St. Ursula Villa’s Junior High program which emphasizes study skills, time management, independence, and student leadership. Front Row (left to right): Tyler Stegbauer, Marin Conrard, Cooper Stegbauer, Annamarie Handorf, Lauren Horst. Center: Charlie Stautberg, Carter Stevens, Meg Witzeman, Elizabeth Fager, Catie Workman, Bella Desmond. Rear: Aaron Cross, Carson Doxsey, Mac Rueve, William Kirwin, Caroline Meisenhelder, Addison Roney, Emily Jennewein, Ali Meisenhelder. COVID-19 Pandemic Precipitates St. Ursula Villa’s Shift to Distance Learning When Ohio Governor DeWine mandated the closure of all schools on March 13th to minimize the spread of COVID-19, St. Ursula Villa rose to this extraordinary challenge and successfully pivoted from typical classroom instruction to delivering a Villa education through distance learning. St. Ursula Villa administration and teachers worked diligently to set up a framework to transition students from traditional face-to-face learning to distance learning/home instruction. With only a few days to prepare, the Villa administration decided to quickly Teachers used videos for instruction, such as this lesson on two-digit subtraction. launch this dramatic educational shift by using instructional methods already in place and familiar to parents, students, and teachers. Villa preschool–3rd-grade teachers regularly used SeeSaw to share classroom lessons, manage student work, and communicate with parents and students. RenWeb served as the primary parent/school communication portal for all parents as well as the main data hub for homework assignments and grades for students in 4–8th-grades. Villa teachers implemented instruction via these systems at the onset of distance learning, refining and adding other methods over the 10-week school shutdown. Some teachers used Zoom video conferencing to deliver instruction and facilitate class participation while other teachers created YouTube channels to post instructional videos. Music teachers staged “front porch concerts” with Flipgrid. Microsoft Teams and Office 365 were also utilized for communication and instruction. 8