Indian Mountain School will return to in-person classes this fall, while still offering a remote track of learning. This summer, our faculty have been engaged in a unique professional development opportunity to better adapt to the unique needs of each student this year. One Schoolhouse is an educational organization for both students and career educators that provides programming for teachers working in a variety of educational modes. Specifically, our faculty enrolled in their Designing, Building, and Teaching for Hybrid Learning course, as we have prepared to reimagine our program for the 2020-2021 school year.

This fall, our academic program will be a hybrid one, offering in-person and remote tracks to our students in Pre-K to grade 9. This past spring, we identified that to succeed in the months to come, we needed to empower our faculty with the additional tools and skills necessary to thrive within a hybrid-learning environment. The benefit of this program has gone beyond that original goal, as Dean of Faculty, Alex Hodosy, noted. “What we learned is that a lot of the development provided by the course, both high-level and specific, directly supports our school’s academic philosophy regardless of circumstance. In fact, nearly all of our school’s already-identified programmatic goals relating to cognitive diversity; differentiated learning; equity and inclusion; assessment techniques; and relevance and purpose in teaching are elevated when considered in the context of a hybrid learning model.”

This, combined with our restructured learning management system and use of outdoor spaces this fall, has resulted in a surge of creative lesson and unit plans. Most notably, faculty are looking toward the Mountain in order to make the most of our 600-acre campus.

While we originally entered into this work through One Schoolhouse in order to best prepare our faculty for a hybrid learning model, we have found that this work is going to benefit the IMS educational experience beyond this year. This work has allowed us to examine what we do and how we do it, in order to better align ourselves with our mission, our strategic priorities, and our commitment to this community.