Two days after returning from spring break, Episcopal School of Knoxville dove in head first into its new virtual school platform, Virtual ESK. On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, students logged into their virtual classrooms and continued with classes.
Fifth grade teacher David Spates says, “We love that we can continue the ESK educational experience despite not being able to be in our physical classrooms. Not every school is able to do what we’ve done, and I think it speaks highly of our faculty and administration that we were able to return from spring break and get back to ‘being a school’ fairly quickly.”
Virtual ESK is a medley of asynchronous and synchronous classes, as well times for brain breaks, where students mingle or get fresh air. Spates continues, “Our students are in school, learning, socializing, exploring. A virtual classroom is a different experience, for sure, but our students and faculty have adapted to the situation and have risen to the challenge.”
Virtual ESK is beneficial to working families because it runs similarly to a regular school day. Students can start with chapel, and then jump right into their classes. When class is over, students are able to meet their teachers in office hours for live questions.
One parent said, “I am so impressed with how ESK has handled this situation. I truly feel like we are a family and all in this together. It is hard, scary, but I know I have a village around us. I’m so honored to be a part of the ESK family!”
Students remain in their day-to-day classes as well as their specials, such as art and music. Teachers have continued with their plans by teaching students about histograms, the Hunger Games, and rhymes in poetry as if they were still meeting in person.
Eighth grader Colin says, “The online school has been a big change for us all, but my ESK teachers have made it easy for us to learn during these difficult times.”