The Anacapa School on March 16 transitioned from downtown Santa Barbara to its first day of remote learning. After Gov. Gavin Newsom made the stay-at-home lifestyle official on March 19, Anacapa School knew it needed to reimagine the academic experience.
“This remarkably smooth transition to remote learning would not have been possible without our highly energetic and innovative faculty,” said Dylan Minor, Anacapa’s head of school.
“To be sure, there have been some kinks to iron out, but I’ve been happily surprised with how well things have gone,” he said. “I also attribute the successful transition to our resilient students who have had an excellent attitude. In fact, some recently recruited three new students to our school since remote learning began month ago.”
In this new world, math class is largely a Google Hangout where students and faculty collaborate in real-time to come up with new solutions. For science, students have discovered overlooked ecosystems around their homes that they now document through pictures, commentary, and charting.
Even electives continue, with young entrepreneurs preparing for the next regional entrepreneurship competition, which will be virtual this year.
More broadly, Anacapa’s curriculum is run from Google Classroom, which has allowed the school to circumvent the privacy and security challenges many schools across the nation have faced as they have moved to remote learning with less secure platforms.
Helping make this all possible is Anacapa’s 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Keeping the size of the student body intentionally limited allows for a personalized level of attention that each student at Anacapa enjoys.
Modeled after leading university graduate programs, Anacapa students can discover and explore their academic passions in depth with guidance focused on each student’s experience from deeply committed experts.
This approach was critical in the transition to a remote learning environment. It will also be important if it is necessary to face the reality of a COVID-19 world where we ebb and flow between in-person and remote learning, as Gov. Newsom suggested this week could be the case throughout (at least) this fall.
Meanwhile, Anacapa students, new and old, will have the opportunity to finish this school year strong, with growth and gratitude. For more about Anacapa School, visit www.anacapaschool.org.