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In spring of 2020, we launched AFS Everywhere, our comprehensive educational program that sustains vital connections for students, families, faculty and staff. The Abington Friends School campus is closed for the school year, but our community, our relationships and our learning life are very much open.

To ensure a vibrant ongoing learning experience for our students, our faculty and administrators have worked creatively, collaboratively and with clear purpose to create a distinct and engaging schedule for each division of the school.  

 


Stories from AFS Everywhere:

 

bizex afs everywehre julie copeland
Julie Copeland, AFS parent and entrepreneur, spoke to our BizEx cohort students over Zoom. Julie is the CEO of Arbill, which supplies workplace safety equipment. She shared how her company quickly made the shift to providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to various states, FEMA and Homeland Security because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Write for What’s Right: The Class of 2024 Writes for Change

During the last trimester of eighth grade English with teacher Sunshine O’Donnell, students explore an issue that concerns them and learn how the power of language can help to promote social justice. Read More

Quarantine Thoughts: Poetry in a Pandemic

In Mary Lynn Ellis’ 11th grade AP Literature class, students have been working on an in-depth study of contemporary American poets. Students were asked to choose a line or more from any poem by any poet that resonated with them in a new way during the present quarantine. Read More

Hear My Song: A Message of Hope and Possibility from AFS Theatre

Our Theatre Arts department worked with our talented students to film, record and edit a musical message of hope for the school community and the world at large. The virtual performance came from our award-winning fall 2019 musical Songs for a New World and helped to fill the void of a spring production that could not come to life as we all hoped. Watch the Moving Video and Read More

Students Bring Action Figures to Life with AFS Everywhere Maker Space

When AFS had to close its doors due to Covid-19, Middle School art teacher Pete Thobaben decided he wanted to keep his 3D action figure art project going and brought the AFS Maker Space back to life in his home. Read More

First Grade Class Donates Post Office Sales to Alex’s Lemonade Stand

As school closed its physical doors and AFS Everywhere opened, our first grade classes continued their post office project. In math, they counted up the funds from their stamp sales and donated them to help others! Read More


Lower School

Guidelines

In the Lower School, videos from teachers, activities, lessons, enrichment and more can be found for each grade level at a dedicated AFS Everywhere website for students in early childhood through fourth grade (accessed through a link sent via email to parents from Lower School Director, Andrea Emmons). Zoom gatherings will allow students to connect with classroom and resource teachers and with their classmates. We want to continue the spirt of community in the Lower School in every way possible.

In addition to activities and lessons from classroom teachers, students will also have access to content and lessons in Science, Music, Spanish, Art, Library and Physical Education.

We recognize that for many kids and families this will be a process of learning how to balance remote learning along with the many other responsibilities that they have at home.

Daily Schedule & Timeline

The first few days of AFS Everywhere will be dedicated to helping kids and families acclimate to the new program. It will feel like a brand new school year—and in some ways it is!  Teachers will focus on reconnecting with students and giving open-ended tasks.

Regularly scheduled learning sessions will take place in at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and afternoons will be open for asynchronous learning and individually scheduled Zoom classes.

Technology

In the Lower School, videos from teachers, activities, lessons, enrichment and more can be found for each grade level at a dedicated AFS Everywhere website for students in early childhood through fourth grade (accessed through a link sent via email to parents from Lower School Director, Andrea Emmons).  Zoom gatherings will allow students to connect with classroom and resource teachers, and with their classmates. We want to continue the spirt of community in the Lower School in every way possible.

Community & Support

The AFS Everywhere experience will include regular online lessons, but also provide opportunities to write, read, create art, engage in music and physical activity. It will also invite students to “off-line” learning experiences as well during this time away from campus, embracing our affinity for experiential and independent learning.

For technical support as it relates to AFS Everywhere tools, email techsupport@abingtonfriends.net.

To connect with the Lower School for support, email Andrea Emmons. Please see this Resource Guide for Mental Health and Wellness from our Student Support Team for more resources that can help you navigate this time with your student and family.

Middle School

Guidelines

Over the last few weeks, faculty and administrators have envisioned and created a different way of schooling—one that matches the AFS mission and our teaching philosophies.

In our Middle School, we know that learning can and should be both a collaborative and individual endeavor, not one OR the other. To that end, we’ve planned a variety of synchronous and asynchronous experiences to keep students’ learning alive during this time. Teachers will be responsible for holding classes using Zoom in addition to checking in with students individually to review work and discuss student progress.

After the first two weeks of AFS Everywhere, we will also launch a set of individual, asynchronous experiences that each child will be responsible for completing weekly. These may include reading a book independently, listening to a podcast or watching a documentary, journaling etc. We wanted to take the first few weeks, however, to have students focused on meeting the basic expectations in this new reality.

AFS Everywhere will help students and families to maintain their connections within the Abington Friends School community and will enable students to continue learning and growing, providing creative opportunities for interaction through curricular content.

Please review our Middle School Remote Learning Expectations for Students to better understand the learning environment, read policies on discussion boards, chats, behavior and appearance and get helpful hints about online learning.

Daily Schedule & Timeline

Our official AFS Everywhere Middle School day during will begin each morning at 9:30 with an advisory or grade level zoom meeting. The programmed school day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. In addition to the programmed school day, students will have work to complete on their own. Some days, a given class may not meet at its scheduled time, as teachers may assign asynchronous work for students to complete during that period. See your child’s grade level schedule linked below.

FIFTH GRADE

SIXTH GRADE

SEVENTH GRADE

EIGHTH GRADE

Each family can expect to hear from your child’s advisor weekly. If you have questions about a specific class, please reach out to that specific teacher. If you have a general question or comment, always feel free to reach out to your child’s advisor.

Technology

Students are expected to check email on a regular basis and should check their email each morning before starting AFS Everywhere classes. Google Classroom and the Google apps suite of tools is our learning management system and there is a Google Classroom in place for each class or course the student is taking.  These virtual classrooms will contain resources, activities, schedules and links to lessons. Assignments and activities will be distributed through classroom and collected via classroom.

Zoom, a video conferencing tool, will be used to connect with students in real time. Zoom sessions will be used to conduct classroom instruction, provide feedback and by advisors to host meetings with their advisees.

Teachers will be using a range of tools to create lessons and activities for students. Loom, a video creation tool, has proven very useful in creating quick videos to explain a topic, walk a student through an activity or curate information. YouTube video creator and other screen recording tools will also be used to create content.

Parent Resources

General Questions – Contact your child’s advisor with any general questions regarding your child’s experience.

Subject Specific Questions – Communicate directly with your child’s subject specific teacher, if questions arise.

Attendance Issues – As usual, if your child is unable to attend their synchronous class times, please reach out to our Middle School Administrative Assistant Regina Lynch (rlynch@abingtonfriends.net) as well has your child’s advisor. Your child should also reach out to their teachers to find out what they have missed.

Mental Health/Wellness Support – This situation is ever evolving and the impact on everyone is very real. If your child is experiencing elevated levels of anxiety or other mental health/wellness issues, please reach out to your child’s advisor and our school counselor Kevin Ryan (kryan@abingtonfriends.net). Please consult some trusted resources we have compiled to help you navigate this time with your student and family.

Student Expectations and Community Standards – With these territories not yet charted, who knows what challenges may arise. Please direct questions regarding behavioral or academic expectations for remote learning to your child’s Grade Dean. Also, see AFS Everywhere: Remote Learning Student Expectations for basic initial guidelines.

Technology and Connectivity Issuestechsupport@abingtonfriends.net.

ALL Other Issues – Please always feel free to reach out to Middle School Director, Matt Eskin, (meskin@abingtonfriends.net). You can always begin with your child’s advisor, if you’re not sure to whom to direct a question, and they’ll be sure to put you in the right direction.

Community & Support

The AFS Everywhere experience will include regular online lessons, but also provide opportunities to write, read, create art, engage in music and physical activity. It will also invite students to “off-line” learning experiences as well during this time away from campus, embracing our affinity for experiential and independent learning. We know how critical simple connection can be at a time of relative isolation. Our teachers thrive and are driven by this desire to connect; relationship is the essential medium for learning and the heart of an AFS education.

Technical Support:

All Middle School students have Google Apps accounts provided by AFS, if they have an issue with an account they can reach the tech department at techsupport@abingtonfriends.net. When using Google Apps accounts Chrome is the preferred browser.  They will work on any device that supports Gmail, which is almost everything.

Mental Health and Wellness Support:

This situation is ever evolving and the impact on everyone is very real. If you or your student is experiencing elevated levels of anxiety or other mental health/wellness issues, please reach out to your or your child’s advisor and our school counselor Kevin Ryan (kryan@abingtonfriends.net). Please see this Resource Guide for Mental Health and Wellness from Kevin for more information.

Upper School

Guidelines

Over the last few weeks, faculty and administrators have envisioned and created a different way of schooling—one that matches the AFS mission and our teaching philosophies.

AFS Everywhere will help students and families to maintain their connections within the Abington Friends School community and will enable students to continue learning and growing, providing creative opportunities for interaction through curricular content.

Please review our Upper School Remote Learning Expectations for Students to better understand the learning environment, read policies on discussion boards, chats, behavior and appearance and get helpful hints about online learning.

Daily Schedule & Timeline

Our official AFS Everywhere Upper School school day will begin each morning at 8:30 a.m. with advisory, teacher office hours or music block. The programmed school day will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition to the programmed school day, students will have collaborative time during which they can complete asynchronous assignments, hold pre-scheduled meetings, schedule meetings with their teachers, or gather virtually for student life activities.

Technology

Students are expected to check email on a regular basis and should check their email each morning before starting AFS Everywhere classes. Google Classroom and the Google apps suite of tools is our learning management system and there is a Google Classroom in place for each class / course the student is taking.  These virtual classrooms will contain resources, activities, schedules and links to lessons. Assignments and activities will be distributed through classroom and collected via classroom.

Zoom, a video conferencing tool, will be used to connect with students in real time.  Zoom sessions will be used to conduct classroom instruction, provide feedback and by advisors to host meetings with their advisees.

Teachers will be using a range of tools to create lessons and activities for students.  Loom, a video creation tool, has proven very useful in creating quick videos to explain a topic, walk a student through an activity or curate information. YouTube video creator and other screen recording tools will also be used to create content.

Parent Resources

Attendance Issues – As usual, if your child is unable to attend their synchronous class times, please reach out to our Upper School Administrative Assistant Carolyn Schwartz (cschwartz@abingtonfriends.net). Your child should also reach out to their teachers to find out what they have missed.

Remote Learning and Assessment – Remote, synchronous and asynchronous learning are new to many of us, and you may have questions about how the new Upper School day is constructed and the pedagogical choices we are making. Here’s a thoughtful and relatively resource to give you some grounding in the kind of teaching and learning in which we are currently engaged. Further questions should be directed to Upper School Director Dom Gerard (dgerard@abingtonfriends.net).

Mental Health/Wellness Support – This situation is ever evolving and the impact on everyone is very real. If your child is experiencing elevated levels of anxiety or other mental health/wellness issues, please reach out to your child’s advisor and our school counselor Kevin Ryan (kryan@abingtonfriends.net). Please see this Resource Guide for Mental Health and Wellness from Kevin for more information.

Student Expectations and Community Standards – Remote learning can feel a bit like the Wild West for us all, as we work to reestablish student behavior and expectations. All of our Community Standards in the Upper School Family Handbook remain in effect. Further, we have developed AFS Everywhere: Remote Learning Student Expectations. If any issues arise regarding online behavior or peer-to-peer interactions, please reach out to our Dean of Students LaToya Miller (lmiller@abingtonfriends.net).

Student Academic Performance – While we recognize that flexibility will be even more critical during this time, we must also maintain academic standards to provide accurate reporting and feedback for you and your child.

Academic Program and Records – The current situation may create uncertainty about our academic program and processes, such as grades and transcripts, SAT/AP, college reporting, and course selection for next year. Your first stop for any of these questions will be our Directors of Studies J.R. Neiswender (jneiswender@abingtonfriends.net) and Joanna Upmeyer (jupmeyer@abingtonfriends.net).

Technology and Connectivity Issuestechsupport@abingtonfriends.net.

Community & Support

The AFS Everywhere experience includes regular online lessons, but also provide opportunities to write, read, create art, engage in music and physical activity. It also invites students to “off-line” learning experiences during this time away from campus, embracing our school’s commitment to experiential and independent learning. We know how critical simple connection can be at a time of relative isolation.

Technical Support:

All Upper School students have Google Apps accounts provided by AFS, if they have an issue with an account they can reach the tech department at techsupport@abingtonfriends.net. When using Google Apps accounts Chrome is the preferred browser. They will work on any device that supports Gmail, which is almost everything.

Mental Health and Wellness Support:

This situation is ever evolving and the impact on everyone is very real. If you or your student is experiencing elevated levels of anxiety or other mental health/wellness issues, please reach out to your or your child’s advisor and our school counselor Kevin Ryan (kryan@abingtonfriends.net).

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