Learning Beyond the Classroom Part II: What Summit Learning Partner Schools are Saying

We continue to support and hear from our partner schools on the unique approaches they are each taking to navigate and coordinate a remote learning environment. One common thread we’re observing is the critical role mentoring and habits of success (e.g. emotional resilience, purpose, and time management) play, which were already in place before schools closed, that helped make the transition less burdensome. Whether it’s trust in knowing their students are comfortable navigating curriculum or having the weekly routine in place to hold check-ins between a student and mentor, many of our partner schools are grateful to see any preexisting structure transfer to this unprecedented moment in time.  

Westchester Torah Academy – New Rochelle, NY 

Summit Learning is a tool that has enabled our school to meet the external challenges of remote learning by bringing the learning to our students, meeting them literally wherever they are. Besides ease and familiarity with navigating technology, other vital skills that are serving our students especially well are Summit’s emphasis on self-directed learning, goal-setting, and one-to-one mentoring whose continuity can be maintained easily through video chat. Summit’s emphasis on giving students agency over their learning and teaching them how to advocate for themselves equips them with skills that are of essential value in any case, but especially so within a distance learning situation

  • Ingrid Hauptman, Middle School Summit Coordinator

McKinley School – Pasadena, CA

Summit has helped because the technology has already been there. Our parents, students, and staff have been working with the platform all year so everyone knows what is expected of them. This really has been helpful because we are not transitioning with a huge learning curve. The students have already been practicing those habits of success so they are able to transfer them to this ‘new normal’ they are experiencing right now. These habits of success, if taught properly, should be transferable to a fully remote learning environment. 

I feel confident going into this. Since the platform is already there I can focus on my kids. My kids are not going to remember Ancient China during this time. However, they are going to remember the way their parents and teachers made them feel. Since I am calm and confident-I feel a lot of that is rubbing off on my students. 

  • Lauren Partma, Middle School Teacher

Charette Charter High School – Providence, RI 

We are engaging in meaningful dialogue with no distractions. Our students really appreciate the opportunity to continue to complete checkpoints and projects. The level of engagement is striking. 

  • Kathy Vespia, Executive Director 

Griffin Academy – Vallejo, CA 

A huge part of our ability to transition online has been attributed to the systems and structures Summit Learning already has in place, including access to an amazing coach to help us through these uncertain times. Our curriculum is accessible online, with common rubrics, online feedback tools for students, with a very transparent format for families to see students’ progress. 

Additionally, having one to one mentoring already integrated into our program with an online platform has helped make this transition easier for students, as they have access to a trusted adult that can help them through the challenges they may be facing during this crisis. Lastly, students have been spending all year working on self-direction as one of their habits of success, and while school may be physically closed, it’s clear that our students are still actively using this skill set to work through their projects and activities with their teachers off- and on-line.  

  • Steph Morgado, School Leader 

Have testimonials from your school’s transition to remote learning or additional topics to discuss? Reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

About the author

Summit Learning
Summit Learning is a research–based approach to education designed to drive student engagement, meaningful learning, and strong student–teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. Created by teachers with experience in diverse classrooms, Summit Learning is grounded in decades of research about how children learn. With Summit Learning, students gain mastery of core subjects like math, history, English, and science, while also carefully developing the skills and habits of lifelong learners. Summit Learning is independently led and operated by the nonprofit, Gradient Learning.