Distance Learning at Oak Knoll

Due to the spread COVID-19 in our state and the nation, Oak Knoll moved to a Distance Learning Model starting March 23, 2020, which will remain in effect until Governor Murphy deems it is safe for schools to reopen. Families will be updated through email or the Honeywell Instant Alert System as necessary. Teachers will communicate with students daily and release weekly learning plans on myOKS.

Please refer to this page frequently for all information related to distance learning. We will update it daily or as information becomes available.

Distance Learning Plans

We will continue to follow the 6-day-cycle class schedule we have in place, as this will align with the myOKS schedule system. If a class normally would meet on a given cycle day, then activities, lessons, videos, etc., will be assigned by the teacher for that day. Teachers have been busy creating instructional videos and online activities for students. After the first week, we will assess the success of our program and adjust as needed.

Each school day, teachers will be online and available for additional support during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They will be checking emails, myOKS messages and any Google Classroom discussions regularly and working to respond to any questions/messages within the hour during those school hours. If teachers receive messages after 3:30 p.m., they will work to respond before 9 a.m. the next morning.

On Sunday evening, a document laying out the framework of your child’s learning week will be posted on myOKS on your child’s homeroom teacher’s “Bulletin Board.” This will indicate their activities and assignments for each day and where to find the resources/programs needed. There will be an instructions/class day grid provided for each day of the week ahead. Students can use this sheet as guidance for each day of the week. If your family’s daily schedule allows for it, older students in particular may even choose to follow their daily schedule and times as posted on myOKS and complete these lessons during the actual times they would have had in-person classes on campus. However, each family will be adjusting to their new schedule during this time and your child’s hours designated to work may differ from another so we are trying to consider that as we plot out the schedule and plan.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, we will begin our distance learning program. Some teachers may be hosting live, in-person classes while others may be posting activities and assignments for their students to engage with. This teaching plan is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning occurs when your daughter’s teacher holds a live, interactive lesson. Asynchronous learning occurs when an assignment or activity is posted, and students can complete them on a flexible time schedule. This model will provide us with opportunities to maintain a sense of community while also allowing for some adaptability. Since many teachers are also parents, they will need to have some flexibility in scheduling when they are able to hold live instructional sessions in order to meet the needs of their students and their families.

  • Maintain a healthy sleep cycle – Go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep. Even though you are not coming to campus, remember that Sunday-Thursday nights are school nights.
  • Eat regular healthy meals – Make sure you are fueling yourself with good food and doing so on a regular basis. Eat breakfast. Take breaks, have snacks, eat dinner with your family. This is good for the body, mind and soul.
  • Get some exercise – Dr. Maskery is sending out daily fitness plans. Check them out and try following them if you don’t have another plan for regular exercise.
  • Develop and maintain a schedule – Shower regularly. Get out of your PJs and get dressed in the morning. Make your bed and get ready for the day, every day.
  • Delineate your spaces – Make sure you have a space that you can designate as a learning space and a different space that you can designate for down time. Some of you may be doing the bulk of your schoolwork in your room. That is OK, just don’t be sitting on your bed all day. If you have a desk, use it. If you are able to be in another room as a designated workspace, do so. Your brain and body need to be able to recognize your bed as a place to rest not a place to work.

Our Technology Department will continue to provide tech support from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Parents and students will be able to reach them at 908-522-8115 or help@oakknoll.org. Either method of contact will create a ticket in our ticketing system for the team to answer. This information is also included on the Distance Learning page on the website.

Jennifer Peterson, Dean of Teaching and Learning and Hope Memorial Library Director, Mary Hoskins-Clark, will be available for academic support. They have been and will continue to research tools and strategies for teaching, learning, assessing, and research. They will be sharing those tools and providing virtual office hours to students who may need support. Of course, the teachers, deans and advisors are available for your daughters as well.

We will continue to follow our 8-day schedule as planned. However, we will be adjusting the morning meeting schedule to reflect the typical schedule that we have. It is our hope that maintaining this schedule will provide us with as much continuity as a community as possible.

The weekly morning meeting schedule will be as follows:

Community Meetings

  • Monday: General Homeroom at 9:25-9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Advisory 7th-9th grades at 9:25-9:45 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Advisory 10th-12th grades at 9:25-9:45 a.m.
  • Thursday: Break
  • Friday: Optional advisory at 9:25-9:45 a.m.
  • Advisory meetings may be conducted through video conferencing, an in-time discussion, or another virtual tool which allows for live interaction. Grade level homerooms are not required but may be scheduled if the grade level coordinators so choose.

Attendance will be taken during every period that your daughter has a class or scheduled meeting, like advisory. The check-in place and overall “home base” is myOKS. To take attendance, teachers will create an assignment in myOKS with digital submission. Each student simply needs to respond with “present” so we know she checked in during the period, even if the lesson for that period does not require live engagement. Attendance for advisory will be taken through a form of digital communication as determined by the advisor.

The purpose for taking attendance is to help students stay on track with a regular schedule and to make sure they are checking in an keeping up with their work. If a student is unable to “meet” during her scheduled class time, she should let her teacher know.

If your daughter is ill, please let Mrs. Hildebrandt know. She can be reached via email at sue.hildebrandt@oakknoll.org. Your daughter’s teachers will be informed and her dean will help with a plan for make-up work as needed.

Teachers will be thoughtful and flexible with the way that they grade over the course of the closure. We recognize that it may take some time for students to adapt to remote learning and we will adapt to meet their needs the best we can. Teachers will be meeting regularly in their departments and as a whole faculty for consistent evaluation of best practices for this new model of education.

The seventh and eighth grade teams will be determining the best way to proceed with their final projects. It is very likely that these will be adjusted significantly in light of the disruption to our academic program. As we make these determinations, more information will be shared.

The department chairs will be adjusting the philosophy of academic placement in light of the change to our academic experience. A combination of a student’s first semester performance in addition to a holistic assessment of her semester two progress will be used to recommend placement for students in the courses for which they are best suited. The timeline for placement is to be determined and information about the process for course placement will be communicated in the coming weeks.

We are monitoring College Board’s statements regarding advanced placement exams. As of March 20, 2020, College Board announced the tests will be shortened to 45 minutes and taken at home. We will continue to update the community as we learn more.

Any adjustment to the schedule or method of exams will be communicated to students and families. Since this is an evolving situation, we are taking our time in making decision and want to act in the best interest of the students.

The senior capstone projects may be impacted by COVID-19. We will be modifying the expectations for seniors in light of this. Some may choose to continue with the capstone they had planned as scheduled. Others may be unable to do so. For any student who is unable to do her capstone project as planned a program will be provided on campus. Determinations about Capstone will be made in the coming weeks.

The philosophy regarding spring events is to modify and reschedule, if possible. We know how important the school events are to the students and our hope is to maintain as much as we can. A list of events and their current status is attached here.

Club advisors will determine along with their student leaders if clubs will continue to meet during the closure. Information about how that will work for club members will be sent out to members of the clubs.

Resources

In Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, we were blessed to gather as a school community for the first time in two years this morning!...

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Grade 7 earth science students recently enjoyed an introduction to meteorology courtesy of a live presentation by scientists at @mwobs! 🌡️❄️🌩️...

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Nearly 30 OKS Upper School students bagged 75 lunches after exams today to serve the homeless in need through @bridges_outreach, a social services organization in Summit, NJ. Today marks the first time in a year and a half where a smaller group of 6 OKS students will deliver and distribute the meals this evening to the homeless in New York City. #ActionsNotWords #StrongMindsHumbleHearts...

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We’ve had more impromptu reunions with alumnae as the Petitos recently bumped into Caroline Abel ’19 at Harvard!...

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Melissa Miller, our new Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice, recently visited senior art students to check out the progress of their Project Memory works!

Project Memory is an art peacebuilding effort in which students exchange heartfelt artwork with children from countries that are culturally different from the United States – stay tune for more on this wonderful endeavor!
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Oak Knoll Sixth grade students take part in the 2021 #GlobalMakerDay where students around the globe connect live and virtually with other classrooms. Today, classrooms are sharing different projects, learning spaces, creations, coding, 3D designs, art lessons and more. Here, students are building and testing Rube Goldberg Machines – a chain reaction-type machine or contraption intentionally designed to perform a simple task where each action triggers the initiation of the next action....

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Save the Date: Our Topics in Sports Medicine Panel, which take places Monday, November 1, 2021, will address the important topic of the mental side of athletics. Stay tuned for more details....

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To honor #InternationalDayoftheGirlChild we invite you to tap the link in our bio and read a special guest blog for @girlsschools written by Head of School Jennifer G. Landis on the importance of building confidence by fostering student talents!...

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Join us next Saturday at Oak Knoll's beautiful 11-acre campus in Summit, NJ, for our Upper School (girls only in grades 7-12) Open House! See where we thrive together as a community and empower each other to become the best version of ourselves each and every day. Link in bio to register....

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Who Ya Gonna Call? Any alumnae/i remember these? If so, tag someone you called using one of them! #ThrowbackThursday #TBT...

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Happy #WorldTeachersDay to all educators for the impact they have on our students - not just today, but every day!...

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Look who Head of School Jennifer Landis bumped into at the Cornell vs. Columbia field hockey game this weekend! OKS alums Caroline Ramsey '19, Anabelle Brodeur '20, and Gabriella Volpe '21! #OnceaRoyalAlwaysaRoyal...

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Our Technology Department will continue to provide tech support throughout each week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If any students or parents require tech support during our Distance Learning Period, please click the button below to email the Help Desk and start a support ticket or call 908-522-8115.

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