At INTL*, we pride ourselves on our ability to plan ahead, adapt, and innovate. While we may never have imagined the uncertain and unprecedented circumstances in which we all find ourselves, we have been able to draw upon the preexisting strengths of our faculty/staff and community to launch a quality Distance Learning curriculum for our students in a very short period of time.
Our transition to Distance Learning at INTL was aided by our strong planning – we were fortunate to be ahead of the curve in our preparedness compared to many of our peer schools (we have even been able to offer our expertise to help other schools scrambling to catch up). Our hardworking teachers created an emergency two day distance learning lesson plan two weeks in advance, so we were able to launch remote learning the very first day we made the decision to close our campuses.Our planning also gave our academic leadership time to guide our faculty through additional distance learning training, and time for our teachers to plan for the first full week of teaching and learning from home. Our teachers' efforts over the past few days have been nothing short of herculean, showing once again how dedicated they are to their students and to providing them the best possible learning experience, even in very difficult circumstances.
We are already seeing how our rigorous bilingual education can transfer to learning remotely. Our students are following the same schedule at home as they would at school, and are connecting with their English and French/Chinese teachers and classmates over Zoom meetings at the beginning of each learning period. It is heartwarming to see Kindergarten Chinese program students students learning vocabulary about the weather, guided by their teacher's instructional video, 5th graders reading Le Petit Prince and sharing their analysis remotely, 2nd graders continuing to make scientific observations of the bean sprouts they planted weeks ago, students doing at-home yoga in P.E. class – and so much more.
Our bilingual curriculum is able to continue, with modifications, because we are utilizing the best in edTech resources and applications, including Toddle, Google Drive, Brain Pop, iChinese Reader, Newsela, Adobe Spark, and more.
We have been extremely heartened to receive many messages of thanks and support from our families over this last week. Here is just a small sample of the many messages from our current families regarding our school closure and our Distance Learning plan:
“I am really grateful to our school for being extremely innovative and supportive at this time. The live teaching is really unprecedented and heart-warming.”"The school acted thoughtfully and swiftly, and the distance learning initiatives that have kicked into place are working well. This obviously reflects years of advanced planning and preparation. Comparing this response to colleagues around the country, I genuinely believe that ours has been the best by far and sets the gold standard!"“As chaotic as things are, INT'L has been much more organized and prepared than any of my coworkers’ schools. They are in a state of total confusion with no plans, and are using what I’m telling them about what we’re doing as a model for their schools.”"Now watching my 4th grade son should be online everyday from 8AM until 3PM doing his regular lessons just amazes us. Kudos to all the teachers, staff, and management on getting ahead of the situation and being so prepared."“I just want to drop a quick note to express my gratitude for your fast and proactive actions on closing the school and transition to distance learning in an organized manner. I feel so lucky to have my daughter Claire in INT'L!”
During this uncertain time, we are ever more committed to providing an innovative and outstanding bilingual education. Although we are apart, we are feeling more united than ever as a community around our most important mission – the learning, growth, and support of our students.
*In 2020, the International School of the Peninsula (ISTP) formally changed its name to Silicon Valley International School (INT’L) to better reflect its bilingual programs, location, and international values.