Paul Swanson, Director of Digital Learning at Stamford American International School (SAIS), shares all you need to know about this innovative program.
2020 has been a rough year (no) thanks to the pandemic. From the home learning and the impact on local businesses to the global halt on travel, it’s been a hard and trying time for us all. And for some students, it might mean not being able to attend classes just yet… especially if you’re affected by quarantine orders and travel restrictions from Covid-19. To that, we say check out Stamford American International School’s Transition to Campus (TTC) Learning Program! Paul Swanson, the Director of Digital Learning at SAIS tells us more below…
Adapting to changes
As a multicultural international school with a community of more than 75 nationalities, Stamford American International School is well aware of the issues that have plagued its students as a result of the global pandemic. That’s where its TTC Learning program comes in.
“When the school year ended in June, we realised students who’d left Singapore during the circuit breaker weren’t able to come back for the final two weeks of school,” shares Paul. “And, as the new school year’s about to begin, we found ourselves wondering what we could do for our students who can’t get into Singapore in time. As such, the principals of each school division and the digital learning team developed the TTC Learning program to prepare for this possibility for families of students that may be affected.”
So, if you and your family find yourselves serving quarantine orders, an official Leave of Absence (LOA), Approved Absence (AA), Stay-at-Home Notice (SHN) or are facing trouble entering Singapore because of travel restrictions, this new program will still allow your child to attend classes. A brilliant idea, we think!
How it works
But here’s the all-important question parents want to know: how will the program work? “The Early Years, Elementary and Middle School divisions will be using a ‘school-with-a-school’ model,” Paul shares. “Some teachers will lead TTC classes, while others will lead in-person classes. Both sets of teachers will then collaborate closely to ensure students can make a smooth transition to their new classes when they return to campus.” Conversely, high schoolers at Stamford, Paul explains, will be placed in classes as per usual and receive access to their courses via live-stream.
Wondering what your child might need for the program? Paul tells us most students at Stamford are issued with a school-owned iPad or MacBook for use. However, if your child is attending their classes online, they will have to use their personal computers. And, if you’re worried about connectivity, Stamford has it covered. “The school has worked to ensure the program is compatible with a range of devices, and will provide recommendations for parents,” explains Paul.
What to expect from the program
Now we know how the learning program works and what you’ll need, here’s what you can expect. “The TTC Learning program is designed to provide a full day of learning for all students,” says Paul. “Parents of students in Stamford’s early years program should expect their children to be engaged for one to two hours a day, and they should spend the rest of the day with offline or play-based learning activities.”
Similarly, elementary students should expect three to four hours of online material and spend the rest of the day learning offline. But, middle and high school students are expected to be learning online for four to six hours per day and use the synchronous video and live-streaming to their advantage.
Keeping the kids focused
Despite internet connectivity problems, one of the many hurdles we faced during the circuit breaker was keeping our little ones focused during their lessons online. Thankfully, the early years team at Stamford are aware of the challenges its younger students face. “Stamford has worked to help parents understand what they need to do to make the program work, and has developed a training module for TTC early years parents,” says Paul.
And, it’s been proven effective, too. Dalia Elhadidy, parent of a Grade 1 student at Stamford shares her experience so far. “My son’s teachers give specific and timely feedback, which encourages him to do better and commit to distance learning at a young age,” she says. “This has taught him to be well prepared and how to do things independently. As a result, I’m able to have meaningful conversations with him now that I’m more involved in the process.”
Curious to find out more about Stamford’s TTC Learning program and how it can help your child? Visit the school’s website to find out more.
This post is sponsored by Stamford American International School.