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April 2020

Stepinac High School’s Instructors Use Creative Ways Including Virtual Reality to Engage 800 Students

Since March 16 when Stepinac High School suspended face-to-face instruction and quickly implemented its long-distance learning plan, the school’s faculty has used creative ways including virtual reality to engage 800 students in daily remote lessons.

 

Below are links to a sampling of the video lessons posted daily by Stepinac’s faculty through LOOM and synchronous LIVE Classes conducted via Cisco WebEx and Google Meet communications platforms.

 

AP Macroeconomics (Labor Productivity Growth) video lesson Using Virtual Reality with Mr. Werenczak

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huVacntSdpg

 

LIVE Synchronous Calculus class with Mr. Cupertino.

https://youtu.be/7rtdrIBHy8E

 

LOOM Asynchronous History class with Mr. Piacquadio:

Topic 9 Lesson 4 - The New Immigrants - Watch Video

 

LOOM Asynchronous Biology class with Mr. Skinner:

Digestive System - Watch Video

 

In a recent Constant Contact message, entitled “School is Still in Session,” Rev. Thomas Collins (Class of ’89), Stepinac President, said the school’s “advanced blended learning platform has taken online Virtual School Days to a new level.”

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He noted that the “quick and smooth transition from traditional classroom instruction to totally remote learning for all of  “our 800 students located throughout Westchester, the Bronx, Connecticut and Manhattan was made possible by Stepinac’s long-term development of advanced learning technologies that are typically found at college, not at a high school.”

 

He added: “The thinking behind Stepinac’s focus on technology is to provide students with the skills they will need to be globally competitive at the college level and in their future careers. The average Stepinac student engages with 7 -10 technological platforms daily.”

 

Stepinac’s groundbreaking initiatives began seven years ago with the launch of the first-of-its-kind all-digital textbook library, the foundation of which was steadily enhanced and became a core component of Stepinac’s curriculum.

 

Father Collins explained: “Since the students and faculty already had a solid, working knowledge of the platforms’ applications, there was no need for training once the decision was made to go totally remote. To assure a smooth transition, we provided students, parents and caregivers with an easy-to-follow home instruction Virtual School Days guide. And, to help assure that this enterprise operates smoothly, Stepinac’s outstanding technology department staff has been on call throughout the school day to support, teachers, students and parents.”

 

Pointing to the positive feedback Stepinac has received, Father Collins noted: “Based on our research, we always believed that our curriculum innovations were like no other in the region.  Parents who have also been home with their sons during this crisis confirmed how this technology is making a difference.”  He shared two recent messages:

 

“We are so incredibly impressed with Stepinac’s distance learning technology and are thankful for the commitment and caliber of teachers and the academic rigor they   maintain. Anthony misses his friends, teachers and theatre program (of course) but is also grateful for the access and technology, he can re-watch the video lessons if needed and feels he’s not missing out academically.” (Parent of a sophomore student in Ridgefield, Ct.)

“After hearing horror stories since the coronavirus outbreak from parents about their children’s schools with regards to school work, my wife and my feelings were totally reinforced.  In a time of total uncertainty and anxiety of what tomorrow will bring I can have total confidence in the Stepinac family that my son’s school work isn’t another obstacle to overcome.”  The transition was seamless.” (Parent of a freshman student in the Bronx).

Father Collins concluded: “We pray daily and frequently that we will soon be delivered safely from this public health threat and resume fully enjoying many of life’s blessings. Wishing you a very blessed Easter.”