I was looking for school news on Woodward’s website and noticed something a bit different. On most of the other websites in the NSboro district*, photos at the top of the page hearken back to the good old days of norm. There are photos of kids at work in classrooms, school assemblies, special events, and/or field trips.
Woodward School has embraced the new reality. Its website reflects students doing work at home and teachers ready to zoom all with the caption “learning at home”. Below are some of the highlights:
Personally, I think it’s a great way to role model for students and families that learning is still happening, even though it looks different.
But my favorite image on the site wasn’t in the slideshow up top. It was a special, standalone feature. A wink at current modes of communication:
Click to see our teacher bitmojis! Can you tell who is who?
I checked in with Principal Steven Mucci this week to learn a bit more about it.
It turns out that it’s part of teachers’ efforts to engage with students entering their classes next year. He explained:
The idea to create Bitmojis came from one of our amazing teachers and was quickly embraced by our entire staff. As a way to connect with students over the summer, classrooms teachers came up with the idea of sending their Bitmoji to their new class along with their welcome letter later in the summer. Students will be encouraged to take their “new teacher” on all sorts of summer adventures and snap a photo to document the fun! When we return in the fall, students will have an opportunity to share all the fun things they did with their new teacher by their side. The goal of this activity is to help create a connection with our new and returning students despite the unexpected end of the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, as a staff, we have used our Bitmojis to create interactive videos and slideshows introducing our school and faculty!
Families of students transitioning into Woodward next year, and current students, will receive an email from Mucci. He also expected more information/links to be posted to the website sometime today. This morning, a Facebook post shared the slideshow link.
In other Facebook fun, the school has continued posting more student art galleries, another choral concert, and collaborative “books” by students. You can check those out here.
*The only other school in the ten school combined district to update its website is Northborough’s Marion E. Zeh Elecmentary School (K-5). But their photos focus on teachers encouraging students with messages like #Zeh-strong and we can get through this.