ConnectEd: Innovative learning at Bishop O’Dowd High School

Bishop O’Dowd is committed to creating and nurturing an exceptional learning environment for our students as we continue remote learning this fall semester. (Sponsored)

O'Dowd Math teacher and Director of Technology Romeo Baldeviso. Photo: Bishop O'Dowd
Bishop O’Dowd math teacher and Director of Technology Romeo Baldeviso. Photo: Bishop O’Dowd

Bishop O'Dowd logo This story was brought to you by Bishop O’Dowd High School.

The faculty and staff at O’Dowd remain committed to creating and nurturing a truly exceptional learning environment for students this fall as remote learning continues.

To prepare to meet the challenge, faculty gathered virtually for two weeks in July for in-depth professional development. The goals were to strengthen the ability to deliver academic excellence while fostering social-emotional connections among students, teachers, coaches and administrators.

Additionally, the community of teachers sought to prioritize health and wellness practices while engaged in distance learning.

Required sessions for all teachers, led by O’Dowd teachers and administrators, included “Synchronous/Asynchronous Learning Guidelines,” “Supporting and Connecting Students,” and “Caring for Self, Caring for Students.”

These sessions helped teachers develop strategies to minimize passive screen time and empower students to engage with high-quality content and facilitate group learning among their peers. Required sessions also ensured that all staff are equipped to connect students with support services, including counseling, academic support, learning differences and wellness services.

Bishop O'Dowd Social Studies teacher Sharon Correia. Photo: Bishop O'Dowd
Bishop O’Dowd Social Studies teacher Sharon Correia. Photo: Bishop O’Dowd

In this time of social distancing, O’Dowd is prioritizing self-care for students and teachers alike.

“After 28 years of classroom teaching, I’m excited to use new tools for remote learning,” said Social Studies teacher and O’Dowd alum Brian Cushing. “I look at it as a unique opportunity to evaluate and tinker with not only what I’m teaching, but how I teach it. It’s given me an interesting perspective on what my role should be in my student’s learning process.”

In addition, talented faculty offered more than ten optional sessions for their peers. These included instruction on many innovative tech tools, such as “Using HyperDocs to Deliver Online Instruction” and “How, When and Why to Use FlipGrid,” as well additional skills to enhance student success, from “Coaching as a Way of Working: Building a Culture of Connection and Education through Sport” (whether remote or live) to “Learning Differences and Student Success in Remote Learning.”

O’Dowd faculty and staff came away energized and inspired by the opportunity to learn from each other and are now creatively rising to the challenge of remote learning.

“My friends who are also teachers always tell me how impressed they are by the program O’Dowd develops for students,” said Sarah Tunik, teacher in the English Department. “It’s great to work in a school where teachers are consulted on best practices, and supported by schedules, innovative ideas, and technology.”

O’Dowd is eager to welcome new Dragons to the 2021-2022 school year. To learn more about O’Dowd, please join our virtual Open House Nov. 9, 10, 12 and 13. Visit us at www.bishopodowd.org/admissions to learn more and register.

Bishop O'Dowd logo This story was written and paid for by Bishop O’Dowd High School, a Catholic college-preparatory community guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ, that educates its diverse student body to build a more just, joyful and sustainable world.