On this page:
- Success of private education in the COVID-19 crisis
- THE SECOND PANDEMIC WAVE - FALL 2020
- THE FIRST PANDEMIC WAVE - SPRING 2020
- 1. Schools’ perspective
- 2. Students’ perspective
- 3. Parents’ perspective
- Examples of the work of Our Kids members' schools
Our Kids' mission is to broaden knowledge about private education. That is why we decided to find out how this revolutionary change took place and how it affected the work of schools and the lives of teachers, students, and their families. We created a series of articles about learning in the pandemic from the perspective of all those affected groups.
When we wrote the first article series about learning/teaching in the pandemic in the spring, we had no idea schools would also close in the fall.
Success of private education in the COVID-19 crisis
Many conversations with schools, students and parents show one thing, namely that private schools coped well with the difficult, unexpected crisis in the spring and in the fall. There are many reasons for their success, including small class sizes that allow for significant individualization of teaching on a daily basis, direct contact between the teacher and each student, the use of new technologies, and an ability to focus on interpersonal relationships and school community. You can learn about them by reading both ous article series.
Let this be summed up by a quote from a mother: “Once again, I thank God that my child is being educated in a private school. I chose such a school (and I am most grateful for it every day) because I knew that it was a safe place, with no violence, no use of cell phones, no show-offs, strong academics, small classes, three languages, great extracurricular activities, and well-equipped facilities. Now, although many of these elements are out of reach (due to the pandemic), one thing is certain—the school tries hard and cares for the students and for us, the parents. Teachers are available online, children can ask questions and seek advice."
Positive experiences of families with private schools’ work in the pandemic have led to their increased popularity, which has been a steady trend in recent years. In Warsaw, private schools already have almost 35,000 students, over 10,000 more than five years ago. New schools are being created and more and more kids are enrolling there.
We encourage you to read all the articles of both our series about private schools in the times of COVID-19:
THE SECOND PANDEMIC WAVE - FALL 2020
After the summer holidays, the new school year was quite a challenge. Schools conducted in-person teaching, but there were a lot of restrictions, and they were aware the pandemic wasn’t going away and another closure and transition to online learning could occur. This is what happened, step by step:
• On October 19, the government decided to close secondary schools and universities and introduce compulsory remote learning there.
• On October 26, a shift was made to remote learning in upper primary school (Grades 4 to 8).
• On November 9, students in Grades 1-3 of primary schools transitioned to online learning.
So, after less than two months of in-person work after summer holidays, schools had to move to remote teaching again.
We present the work of private schools—members of Our Kids community—in the fall in these two articles:
• Polish private schools in the second wave of the pandemic (part 1), where we describe innovative forms learning/teaching adapted to the conditions of a pandemic, non-academic aspects of the schools’ work during this period, and safety issues.
• Polish private schools in the second wave of the pandemic (part 2), where we focus on technology and schools’ communication with their communities, and offer some conclusions.
THE FIRST PANDEMIC WAVE - SPRING 2020
After the spring lockdown, we described remote learning in private schools in four articles:
1. Schools’ perspective
We asked Our Kids member schools about how they made the transition to remote learning and how they organized their work so that their students could continue their education as efficiently as possible. Schools described the strategies and forms of work used in remote work, the technical aspects of distance learning, delivery of non-academic activities, forms of support, as well as their challenges and successes. You can read about it in the article Private schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Students’ perspective
To find out about the experiences of the students who had to switch to distance learning overnight, Our Kids interviewed private school students of all ages—the youngest interviewees were primary school students (Grade 5), while the oldest were high school graduates. In the article Learning during a pandemic seen through the eyes of students, you can read about their experience. Further, in High school graduates and eighth-graders in a pandemic, you can read about students who found themselves in this unusual situation at a crucial moment in their educational path, just before their exams Throughout, students speak candidly about the pros and cons of remote learning, as well as about lessons learned.
3. Parents’ perspective
In preparing the previous articles, we spoke not only with the students themselves, but also with their parents. They assessed the work of schools and the experience of both their children and their own, as well as the lessons learned. You can read about all of this in the article Learning during the pandemic seen through the eyes of parents.
Examples of the work of Our Kids members' schools
Interesting techniques and ideas used by schools to make learning easier and more attractive for their students are described on their profiles on Our Kids’ website, and can also be found in the News section. Their diversity and the schools’ creativity is a great demonstration that choosing a private school for a child is the right decision, primarily because these schools have dealt very well with the challenges posed by the pandemic.
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