Staying Connected from a Distance

As the academic year-end approaches, we reflect on adjusting to a new normal during the last Spring Term. The School focused its efforts in replicating an authentic Choate experience. Students, faculty, and staff stayed connected with one another in and out of their video classrooms.

In classes, faculty members were creative in their new teaching environment. Music instructors like Noah Baerman [bottom] continue working through jazz piano in a video call, while faculty like Deron Chang get creative with technology in dissecting florals on camera [top]. In Jonas Akins' Public Speaking class, Sofia '23 and Lorenza '22 created a podcast and interviewed former Colombia president and Nobel Laureate Juan Manuel Santos. Faculty and students embraced several unique opportunities for learning.

The community tuned in to several School Meetings this term. The meetings, shared with the community in a pre-recorded video format, have done more than keep the School updated with information. They also included surprise messages of encouraging words from supportive alumni, unique musical performances, and speeches by classmates.

Outside of their Zoom classes, students have also found unique ways to stay connected while apart. Classmates foster their friendships during video lunch breaks between classes. The use of social media has also been helpful in sharing content. For example, the Arts Department encouraged members of the community to share their creative side by submitting drawings, poetry, dance, and natural materials sculpting. Athletes find fun ways to connect with Captain Workout Wednesdays, while some use the platforms as a fun way to engage outside of their online classroom.

How has the community adjusted to this new normal? And what does the immediate future look like for the School? The Choate News speaks with Head of School, Dr. Alex Curtis, and Dean of Students, Mr. Mike Velez, to discuss the School's situation amid the pandemic.