As a Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT), the thought of ‘school at home’ brought a lot of uncertainty and felt overwhelming when I first realized that this was our new reality. How do we meet the differing needs of so many students? How do we keep our students from falling behind after we have made such great progress this year? What about the students I work with on a daily basis?

It has been nine weeks since we started ‘school at home’, and I am amazed at how God has blessed our school community through this time. As a SERT, I am in contact with the teachers and a variety of students on a regular basis and am excited to share that the majority of our students are on track with where they would have been, in the areas of math and language arts, if we had been in school during this time. As I reflect on the past eight weeks, I believe there are three main reasons for this.

First, one of the core values of OCS is partnering with parents which laid the foundation for a smooth transition into ‘school at home’. Parents and teachers have developed relationships that enable effective communication, which is vital to this unique situation.

Second, the daily online math and language arts lessons provided by the teachers, as well as one-on-one zoom conferencing and weekly class meetings, have allowed the students to continue being taught by the teachers, rather than having the parents become the teachers. Approximately 10% of our student body is receiving regular one-on-one intervention during this time. I realize that ‘school at home’ is a huge responsibility for parents, but as a mother of three, I can truly say that I greatly appreciate the effort the teachers have put into teaching my children during this time.

Third, the fact that OCS was able to begin ‘school at home’ as soon as we realized we were not going to be back in the classroom provided our students with continuity in their education. The learning curve was huge for all of the teaching staff, as we navigated zoom and wrapped our heads around teaching over the internet, but we rallied together and learned as much as we could in a very short time!

Going forward, I realize that there are students who are having a difficult time with ‘school at home’ and parents who are concerned that their child may be behind when we go back in September. I would like to assure you that we will continue to do everything we can to meet the individual needs of every student at OCS. At the start of every year, OCS takes part in Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing to gauge student’s proficiency in math and language arts. This will be even more crucial in the coming year, as some of our students have progressed significantly during this time and others have found this time more difficult. We are committed to knowing where each student is academically and whether they may require intervention or enrichment in order to reach their God-given potential.

Finally, on behalf of the staff, I would like to thank the OCS community for all of your prayers and words of encouragement during this time. We are so thankful that God is in control! Please pray for the students, staff, and leadership as we continue to seek God’s will and bring Him glory.

Below is a 360 view of our Resource Classroom.

You can also experience OCS from the comfort of your own home. Virtually walk through the school and take a look inside each classroom by visiting our virtual open house.

In His Service,
Jenny Bakker

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