Diocese of Arlington moves to distance learning for remainder of school year

Some use laptop computer to work off-site.  (Source: Pexels/stock image)
Some use laptop computer to work off-site. (Source: Pexels/stock image)((Source: Pexels/stock image))
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 1:15 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Catholic Diocese of Arlington says it has successfully moved 41 parish schools and high schools to distance learning for the remainder of the academic year.

The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools and four diocesan high schools serving almost 17,000 students.

“Our Catholic schools meet the highest standards of excellence in even the most challenging of circumstances. Our administrators and teachers have enthusiastically risen to the task of continuing to educate our students in a virtual environment, offering an engaging forum for providing instruction that is always rooted in our Catholic Faith,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington. “I commend our entire Catholic school community, teachers, administrators, parents and students, for the creativity and flexibility they have exhibited that have made expansive distance learning possible for as long as we need it.”

The Diocese says many school principals start the day off with live broadcasts and morning prayer through Zoom. Teachers are utilizing Google Classroom, YouTube or other technology to reach students. Children are sending in their work through photos.

In higher grades, a lecture is often provided at various points throughout the day and teachers make themselves available for digital office hours while work is being done.

“This is an incredible test for our school leaders, teachers and families, one they are responding to with a lot of creativity, thoughtfulness and patience,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Arlington. “It is not an undertaking that comes without challenges, but there is an enormous amount of learning taking place as a result. We are confident the lessons learned during this endeavor will enhance the use of technology and provide creative news ways to further increase student engagement over the long term.”

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