Learning at Home

Special days and classroom themes connect remote students

Daniel’s eyes danced as he read his snowflake poem aloud. His classmates, dressed in red plaid flannel and soft, ribbed cotton jerseys, listened with their eyes and ears. Not only was it Pajama Day in Monica Lambert’s second grade all-remote class, the children had just enjoyed “lunch-bunch”—a special time of eating and chatting with their teacher and her daughter. The little community was ready to consider how line breaks influence the tone of a poem. 

This calm companionship is evident in all nine of Katonah-Lewisboro’s remote-only elementary classes. What started off as an experiment to serve district families who, for a variety of reasons, chose not to send their children to school during the COVID pandemic, is a success story that will have lasting impact on the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.

KLSd offers two learning models

Eleven percent of the district’s students are currently enrolled in all-remote learning—a number that has stayed fairly consistent throughout the year. Families commit to the hybrid or remote model in two to three-month segments and will soon indicate their choices for the next segment of the school year, February to March. There’s little movement of students between the learning models at the elementary schools, reports Mary Ford, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, which is an indicator that families are choosing the model that works for them. 

The nine fully-remote teachers are seasoned educators. What's been important to their successful transition to the new learning model is the weekly Fully Remote Teachers Roundtable, a time to share what working, think through challenges and learn new aspects of educational technology, led by Chris Nelson, KLSD Director of Technology, and Randy Hall, Senior Facilitator with the Instructional Technology team at the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center.  

connecting students with each other and their community

Katonah-Lewisboro’s teachers are finding creative ways to accentuate the best in hybrid and remote learning—from making the most of each in-person minute to developing projects that connect students to each other and their community. 

Second graders just completed a unit on economics which introduced concepts of needs and wants, goods and services, and supply and demand. To expand on these principles, Lambert initiated the snowflake project and invited all Increase Miller second grade classes to participate. She created kits of popsicle sticks, twine, ribbon and a poem. Now, students are making snowflakes and hanging them in public areas. The poem’s message: The best things in life we can’t buy.

Kindergarten is filled with singing

Breakout rooms support small-group work

Fifth graders do hands-on experiments at home

organized writers make SeeSaw videos to share with their teacher