Online Learning

Our campus may be closed, but our learning continues.

Thornton Academy is very well positioned to transition to a remote learning plan for instruction in this event of school closure. Our typical daily instruction relies on the use of 1:1 technology, and teachers regularly use tools like Google Classroom and class websites to deliver course material.

Throughout the period of school closure from now until April 26, 2020, students are expected to continue to make academic progress in all courses and to remain in regularly scheduled contact with their teachers. Students can expect work to be shared virtually at the time when classes would typically occur in person, following the regular Maroon and Gold rotation with a modified schedule.

modified schedule for online learning


Teachers will use a variety of methods to ensure delivery of course curriculum, some of which may be altered to suit the course topics in this online format. These methods may include a combination of assigned readings, text-based discussions, pre-recorded video, live discussions via tools such as Google Meet, as well as a variety of other activities and assessments. Teachers will maintain daily contact Monday through Friday and will give students regular feedback and support on their work.

Although teachers and students are experienced in a blended learning environment, we do expect a transition period to occur. We ask for your patience as we work together to accomplish this task amidst unprecedented circumstances. Additionally, it is important to note that our staff is working hard to provide access to the same academic supports available to students as when campus is open. Our plan is to ensure all supports are available, including those from members of our Special Education, School Counseling, and IT helpdesk staff.

For those who do not currently have internet access, Spectrum is offering all K-
college students free internet service for a 60-day period. 

What do our teachers say about online learning?

student using an iPad in Engineering class

I already post daily to class websites and Google Classroom for each of my classes so a jump to teaching from out of school won't be too difficult from the tech side. We're very lucky that the school administration and Technology Department have supported the teachers for years. We laid the groundwork to be able to pull this off years ago.

john raby, history teacher

teacher with a laptop in class

Google Classroom has already been an invaluable tool for me to share materials, lectures, activities and differentiation with my students - I have been using it for a few years now and it is easy to use with tools familiar to our kids. They see daily agendas, links to assignments, and a calendar with due dates - and, occasionally, a crazy cat video. Students can ask me questions directly on an assignment in a private comment or they can email me directly through the Classroom. We can also have group conservations through Google Questions and students can post to our wall if they want to share something with the whole class.  If you want to see updates about your child as a parent or guardian, you can email your child’s teacher and receive a Google Classroom subscription newsletter. With Google Classroom, we build our classroom community - and will be able to maintain that community with remote learning.

barbara barklow, english teacher

student poses with an iPad

In my classroom, technology is already omnipresent. Students access and submit homework through Google classroom. Students also use iBooks I've created with written and significant video content. In addition, technology allows my students to access the newest science taking place around the world through online journal articles and curricular resources that are not outdated. While I prefer face to face class meetings, the iPad program allows every student to engage with their studies as we have trained all year long, with only minor adjustments to the delivery of the material.   

dan frost, science teacher

teacher working on a laptop

In my classes, all workflow is through Google Classroom. Students download and modify PDFs of documents in Notability, collaborate on documents using Google Docs and Google Slides, and log into lectures using Nearpod. While this usually occurs in class, it makes the transition to online learning seamless. I encourage students to contact me using email and Google Hangouts for any questions or problems, ever.

jason cote, history teacher

student using an ipad

Making the transition to remote learning is something I felt really comfortable with as a teacher who uses technology in the classroom a lot already. And as the only German teacher, I've had to get creative with remote learning and technology use before. (Finding a German-speaking sub can be difficult!) Prepping video lessons, teaching live remotely, and giving assessments online are all things I've done before, and things I do in my classes already on a smaller scale. The difference now is that instead of only me being away from school, everyone is away from school and in their own space, which presents new challenges. So far, the students' comfort with using technology in my classes has been a huge help, but coordinating schedules and working out bugs will take some time. I'm happy everyone is being so flexible, banding together, and seeing this as an opportunity to learn and grow. I couldn't imagine trying to pull this off without our 1-to-1 iPad program.

Adrianne Curtis, German teacher

student with an ipad in class