We are keeping students connected and engaged with exceptional distance learning.
Our aim is to ensure healthy adolescents with balanced lives as we build community and support wellness in online spaces.
As a small, nimble independent school that prioritizes the development of relationships and human connections, we provide exceptional distance learning in online spaces.
Our students continue to thrive in their academic and co-curricular pursuits as our creative, compassionate faculty leverage safe, innovative technology.
York recognizes that students learn best through a variety of creative teaching methods, activities, and assessments. Even at a distance, we are instilling creativity in students and guiding them to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.
"Distance learning has made me even more grateful for my amazing teachers who are truly dedicated to ensuring a high quality education. York quickly transitioned and implemented an education plan that gave me a sense of normalcy in the midst of the pandemic."
– Cynthia Ortiz Naranjo '21
York's faculty has always been committed to professional development and a robust process of continuous improvement.
As a member of the One Schoolhouse consortium, for years York has been exploring and readying itself for online and hybrid learning.
This summer we will deepen our commitment to exceptional teaching and learning as our entire faculty and academic administrative team will complete a robust professional development course in hybrid learning, so we can ensure the best possible student experience for the 2020-2021 school year. York School in the Monterey Bay area that will complete this highly sought after professional development course.
York recognizes that adolescence is a critical time in a student’s maturation and it is natural for emotions that stem from the pandemic and distance learning to vary widely; therefore, we are prioritizing wellness.
Our approach to distance learning promotes students’ wellness in a number of ways, including reducing stress and anxiety; providing opportunities for coping with stress; creating opportunities to engage in joyful experiences with peers and teachers; reducing homework load; providing more time to complete homework and study during the day; providing opportunity to experience music and clubs; providing asynchronous learning days for increased sleep, personal time, down time and family time; ensuring a balance of activities.
We recognize that lowering stress and anxiety at this time may lead to higher student engagement.
Above all, we are fostering a climate of connection, care, and balance that is so critical to student health and well-being right now.
Research tells us that adolescent brains literally grow, or undergo positive changes, during social interactions. We also know that social-emotional intelligence and awareness are essential to success in the 21st century.
Our distance learning program allows students dedicated time for clubs, allowing for deepening interactions around mutual interests, as well as time to practice leadership skills. Maintaining PATH, our advisory period, as an opportunity to go deeply into discussions on topics of character, ethics, life skills, and goal setting rose to the top of the priorities list for both students and faculty. We are especially pleased that all students will have ample study periods during which they can engage in group work, meet with teachers, work independently, or simply chat with friends. Through this experience, students will have the opportunity to develop time management skills that will serve them well in college. In addition, they will have room for more essential personal time, down time, and family time later in the day, as well as the kind of social time that builds brain power.
Grade level deans lead regular class meetings, track student progress, host parent meetings, and communicate regularly with families. Our Dean of Students is available for 1:1 sessions and to provide expert advice as to how students can best cope and manage their social, emotional maturation. Our Director of College Counseling leads daily Pathways meetings, 1:1 counseling session for students and their families, and parent information sessions. Faculty PATH sherpas lead regular advisory meetings for small multi-grade cohorts of students. Our Academic Coach continues to provide targeted support so students can find academic success.
Our Distance Learning schedule, informed by a convergence of research on how adolescents best learn, features an intentional balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning and supports York’s mission guided by the following values:
STUDENT HEALTH AND WELLBEING
The schedule prioritizes sleep (8:30 start time), a rotation of classes in the schedule, PATH advisory, study periods, physical fitness, music and arts during the day.
A BALANCE OF PROCESS AND CONTENT-ORIENTED LEARNING EXPERIENCES
The schedule features longer asynchronous learning periods emphasizing process and shorter synchronous periods emphasizing content in accordance with recommendations from educational research.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ARTS, ACADEMICS, AND ATHLETICS
The schedule ensures continuity of all programmatic experiences
The schedule prioritizes collaboration time for students, teachers, and families.
York recognizes that students learn best through a variety of creative teaching methods, activities, and assessments.
York’s forward-thinking faculty was well prepared to shift to distance learning with a thoughtful use of technology. We ensured all teachers and students had the hardware, software, and training needed to continue a personal and active learning experience. Meeting in real-time through our secure Google Meet video conferencing platform, we are maintaining a safe and effective learning environment.
Our classes feature inspiring and creative digital assignments. Students develop engaging research presentations, create music videos, and design digital art using algebraic equations.
Experts from around the world, including a NASA astronaut, a Google researcher, a New York Times journalist, and others, join our classrooms to dialog with students.
Our community continues to use use breakthrough technology to help serve our broader community in need. Students and teachers collaborated to design a variety of personal protective equipment currently in use at our local hospitals. Some students created hand-sewn masks for Meals on Wheels, while others connected with our increasingly isolated elderly population by conducting and archiving interviews using StoryCorps.
"My experience with York’s distance learning has been positive. York allowed us to meet with our classes every other day, which made me feel more connected with other students. Additionally, the faculty was open to feedback which was taken and used to improve my overall experience."
– Angela Goulart '21
"York did a great job maintaining a healthy amount of work while helping make sure students were able to adjust to the new circumstances."
– Seth Madden '21
"THANK YOU to the entire faculty and staff for their heroic efforts at keeping Jordan '20 and the other York seniors engaged and involved as they have come to this unfortunate end to the their high school careers. In addition to continuing the high level of academic involvement, the "extra" attention paid to the seniors through the Senior Box deliveries, Awards Ceremony (Stand By Me was awesome!) and Car Parade have gone a long way towards salvaging a sense of joy and celebration to this important milestone in their lives. I have been overcome with emotion at many points over the last two months, not only at the pain and grief at what is being lost, but also at the dedication and kindness I have witnessed by so many in the York community. It would have been easy to pull back and do the bare minimum, but what I have witnessed is the exact opposite--the entire staff and faculty leaning in and going way above and beyond to haul every single student over the finish line. What an amazing effort by all involved."
-Elizabeth McCorkle, parent of Jordan '20
"Honestly, I feel so lucky to go to a school that was so well prepared. The school was perceptive, recognizing the potential risk early on, and promptly acting on it. The transition to distance learning was seamless and kept me engaged the right amount, being mindful of students’ wellbeing, and minimizing mindless busywork that might have kept us on the computer for too long."
– Courtney Hand '21
"Despite the distance and the difference in the setting, the quality of our education was/is still pretty exceptional! Aside from sports, everything proceeded almost as normal which I think is a major accomplishment given all the factors at hand."
– Maddie Gill '23