Teachers, students, and families have embarked on a new chapter of education at Christian Academy

According to Vice Principal Barb Willis, by the time this article is read the entire school will be fully functioning in the original mission to inspire, instruct, and encourage the students.

“We have a working plan in place and we are excited to be back teaching with new methods of delivery,” Willis said. “It’s vital that we keep our students moving forward. We cannot be content to stand still and simply maintain what students have already learned.

“Last week the teachers went back to school to learn some new skills. Now they are presenting a combination of recorded and live instruction through a couple of software platforms, and maintaining a sense of community through both Zoom and the good old-fashioned telephone. We have always prided ourselves on the close relationship between teacher and student, and that is continuing.”

According to fourth-grade teacher Brian De Shazo, things are both the same and different.

“I teach because I love the personal interaction with our students, and my challenge is to be able to give that personal flavor while at a distance,” De Shazo said. “I am finding that being able to interact with the students this way will make me a better teacher once they return to the classroom.

“I am constantly amazed how far ahead these young people are with respect to technology. I would expect it in high school, but we now know that even the youngest children are completely comfortable with learning on a device and love the challenge. As teachers, we need to move faster to keep up with the students. Of course, we know that not every family has a good internet connection or a device for each child, so we have to be available to serve our students no matter what their abilities and equipment.”

Greg Hintz and his wife Tara have three children enrolled in Wickenburg Christian Academy and all of them are enjoying this new type of distance education.

“All of our children already spend a lot of time learning online, so this has been a natural transition for them to move from in-person to online instruction. They love it,” Greg said. “Even our youngest, Juliana who is in kindergarten, is experienced with online reading and math programs that the school is using.

“Probably the greatest advantage, and the thing they really love, is that they can move through the things they already know quickly and take more time with the parts where they need more time.”

In this time of uncertainty, it is unknown when school will re-open in the traditional manner. However, for the time being this school family will continue to inspire, instruct, and encourage the students to continue moving ahead in their learning. Most importantly, it seems like it’s working.

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