How a Small School Shortened the Gap Between Classroom and Home

Council Oak Montessori School (COMS) took immediate steps to provide online schooling when schools were first closed, with their virtual classrooms opening at 8:30 a.m. Mar. 30.

“This is not homeschooling, rather it is school at home,” said Head of School Lila Jokanovic. COMS staff guided parents and students in setting up school at home spaces that reflect the learning spaces the students are used to, and teachers administer the curriculum.

“We do not expect our families to now teach their children in addition to bringing their offices home,” Jokanovic said.

The COMS administration and staff created a digital platform that honors the heart and soul of the school and upholds the characteristics that define Council Oak. Students and adults have the opportunity to interact with classmates, teachers, the head of school, support staff, and even the school pets. COMS maintains supportive and close connections through daily check-ins with school families and provides materials, supplies and online engagement.

Safe outdoor time and enrichment activities are included in lesson plans, and teachers have daily office hours for visits and answers to questions regarding assignments. Teachers and school leaders also offer practical guidance to families such as ideas on how to juggle constant parenting with their work responsibilities or how to assist their children in processing their emotions.

“I have really been taking my lead from our students in navigating this unexpected turn in our school year,” Jokanovic said. “Our Montessori students are conscious of their responsibility both to themselves and to their classroom community. They learn to be leaders and change makers and to proactively contribute towards the benefit of all.”

Learn more at counciloakmontessori.org or 708-926-9720.

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