INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLKOREA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
In face of challenges to holding in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Korea International School has been at the forefront of creating a virtual learning environment that fulfills the wishes of teachers, students and parents.
By thoroughly preparing the faculty since the last Monday of February and being attentive to the feedback of students and parents, the virtual KIS opened its doors to a new way of learning that offers authentic, relevant educational opportunities.
While the initiative proved challenging at first, KIS director Michelle Quirin believes the effort provided the school an opportunity to grow in new areas and offer better services to the community.
“The virtual experience served as a catalyst for areas where we’ve wanted to grow,” Quirin said. “We want students to see the continuum of learning, and to have a confident awareness of what they know, and an excitement at the possibility of what comes next.”
Since the virus outbreak reached Korea, KIS teachers were presented with new online tools and tasked with setting up their virtual classrooms. But administrators and teachers stayed committed to evaluating curriculum, developing service opportunities, and guiding students to apply their learning.
Many teachers found ways to reshape their educational offerings by taking advantage of the unique benefits of the virtual learning environment.
The elementary school music classes led by Lindsey Cayer and David Woods earned praise from students and parents. Students involved families in songs and dances, joined live Zoom sessions for a sense of community, and compiled a portfolio of their musical development. Biology teacher Kim Youngjee accepted the pandemic as a new way to assess her students’ understanding of viruses by encouraging them to ask questions.
Susan, a parent of a KIS high school student and an elementary student, said she was impressed by how the school quickly shifted to virtual platforms. She saw her high school student develop greater focus, participate more in discussions, and enjoy the coursework. Susan also appreciated a peek into her elementary student’s learning. Both of her children also practiced self-advocacy, a communication skill KIS encourages.