Project Work in a Pandemic

Project Work in a Pandemic


One of the silver linings of teaching through a pandemic has been the awe and gratitude I feel each day as I watch every member of the Duke School community live out our values.


After giving up summer vacation time to learn more about distance learning, teachers meet weekly to plan a dual distance and on-campus program with adaptations for social distancing, disinfecting materials, and masking.


Students continue their deep inquiry and collaboration as a seventh grader sits at his computer in Pod C and gives feedback to a friend learning at his kitchen table. And first graders continue to ask important questions as they chat with a guest scientist over Zoom about their Rock Project.


The results of our equity and justice work fill the buildings during the presidential election as students learned about voter suppression and gerrymandering, and eighth graders work alongside Duke University Infectious Disease researchers collecting data for a study to find a safe and cost-effective way to help schools stay open during a pandemic.


Last of all, each day I observe the agency and commitment we hold dear as everyone pitches in to do tasks we never imagined. The day begins as administrators and specials teachers, thermometers in hand, spend an hour cheerfully greeting students in carline. As I hear my office doorknob rattle at 9 a.m., I yell out a greeting to my friends on our custodial staff who are keeping me safe through another round of disinfecting. Parents chat under tents as they pack special treats for teachers. And parent Board members and physicians meet with Leadership Team members every Tuesday evening to plan for the physical and financial health of the school.


By: Kathy Bartelmay, Curriculum Director









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