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Saint Joseph Hill AcademyUnder the Direction of the Daughters of Divine Charity

Remote Learning March-June 2020

St. Joseph Hill Academy (SJHA) High School moved to remote learning on Monday March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Principal Mrs. Maria Molluzzo, teachers were immediately given enhanced training on best practices and technologies.  

Hill has already been at the forefront of Catholic high schools when it comes to utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to engage students in remote learning experiences. For example, pre-COVID-19, high school teachers and students alike had the advantage of already owning their own laptops and regularly utilized PlusPortals and Google Forms for their classwork. 

“With remote learning, come remote challenges,” reflected Mrs. Molluzzo, “but we are committed to ensuring that virtual learning mirrors the classroom as closely as possible.” The high school has done this through maintaining class schedules, assignments, discussion boards, and testing as close to what the students would experience on a regular day. High school teachers have quickly transitioned to fully utilizing new technologies such as:

  • Zoom for distance learning videoconferencing
  • Explain Everything for interactive PowerPoint lessons with audio and video 
  • Ed Puzzle for video lessons that have questions inserted throughout to better assess students’ understanding of the material 
  • Socrative, Plus Portals, and Google forms for testing

Mrs. Molluzzo has worked tirelessly with faculty, students, and families to make sure their feedback is heard, and adjustments have been made regularly to improve everyone’s experiences. Both the high school and elementary school teachers have participated in weekly opportunities for professional development as well. 

Below are examples of how Hill Faculty are ensuring remote learning is effective, interactive, and innovative. The three videos below are:

  1. Mr. Busca's Allegra II students created an artistic representation of the Unit Circle Diagram using any medium of their choice.
  2. Mr. Guerrero's Spanish class wrote, filmed, and starred in their own Spanish language commercials. 
  3. Ms. Pla's Anatomy lesson on the human heart.
Mrs. Molluzzo acknowledges the situation is difficult for all and especially the Class of 2020. However, she has encouraged the girls to stay positive and lean on their faith. As a way to keep the students feeling together despite being apart, she encouraged extracurricular clubs, sports, and events happen virtually. This allowed students feel the strength and comfort of their Hill community. Student Council elections were held; prayer services are held every Sunday; Kairos fourth day meetings are held on Thursdays; Hill TV releases weekly announcement videos posted on YouTube; Earth Day and May Crowning celebrations took place; and all high school students set aside April 24th to participate in Hill’s 11th Annual Service Day. On May 29th, the girls unveiled Air Bands virtually. Air Bands is a major part of Hill’s annual Color Wars competition. Girls will wear their Color Wars “2020, The Year they were Quarantined” t-shirts. These shirts were a gift from the Student Council and were delivered to all grades by faculty, staff, and students. 
Incoming Student Council President for 2020-2021 Nicolette Onesto delivered a virtual introduction video on her platform for the upcoming school year. 
Students participated in a Quarantine Art Work project moderated by Hill faculty. Above are just a select few pieces of a project to create movie posters depicting hope and love that illustrate what or who embodies this feeling in their life. 
St. Joseph Hill High School continues to push for excellence in remote learning and strives for a continued strong sense of community despite the circumstances the Covid-19 pandemic have presented.