The mission of Madison Country Day School is to provide an intellectually stimulating, personally enriching, and academically challenging program in the liberal arts and sciences to an able and diverse student body.
But our school is more than a place to learn. We are a strong and supportive community. In the MCDS community, students are valued for their individuality and what they bring to the table. Our teachers provide care and instruction and work to create a safe space to learn. In times of crisis, we need to continue to create and support our community using the expert skills our teachers have developed as educators and the relationship we have developed as a parent/teacher community. We are in this together.
We know that a distance learning experience cannot replicate our regular educational program. We also recognize that the situation at hand can cause fear, anxiety, and stress. We are here to support our students and you, and will focus on the essential curriculum in a way that we believe can be managed by our students and their families.
The guidelines below are intended to help you understand how MCDS is thinking about and planning for distance learning while paying homage to the MCDS mission.
We are counting on our collective #mcdsspirit to move through this unexpected challenge. Our faculty will continue to deliver the MCDS mission in an altered format. We are embracing the #mcdsspirit of:
Each day, faculty are opening themselves up to new ways of teaching and delivering instruction and feedback to our students. Our students and parents are embracing this new way of learning in just the way MCDS students should: with an open mind eager to see the new opportunities this challenge may present.
A great benefit to being part of an independent school is the ability to be nimble and agile when challenges come. We are embracing our agility and formulating new ways to teach and learn.
Faculty, students, and parents are being asked to explore and learn new technologies and new ways of teaching and learning.
Our community connections are never more important than when we must come together in a moment of crisis to provide support, love, understanding, grace, and patience.
- MCDS@home is the result of collaboration with respected peer institutions and educational leaders. We have benefited greatly from shared resources from schools across the globe who have entered into distance learning weeks ahead of us. Our connections to institutions such as NAIS, ISACS, and ISM have helped guide us in our decisions throughout this process. We are incredibly grateful to all who have shared resources, tips, advice, and software as we all work together to pivot in how we deliver our program.
We are not an online school, and we will not become one. MCDS believes firmly in the power of human connection in learning. We will use technology to continue connecting while we cannot be together in person. This plan is our effort to continue schooling in the best possible way for our students and families in the midst of this global pandemic.
We do not seek to replicate online what happens in our classrooms every day. That would not be possible from an instructional standpoint, nor would it be feasible for the adults or children in our community. Instead, our goal is to maintain continuity of learning for our students, as much as is realistic and possible, outside of the school context. We believe this continuity is essential for students’ sense of well-being. We will focus on the essentials of our MCDS curriculum.
We have done our best to create a plan that recognizes the greatly increased and continually changing personal and professional responsibilities all of our families are facing at the moment. MCDS@home will involve learning and work for our students, and teachers will continue to connect with students. However, we also believe that we must drastically adjust our expectations for content coverage and skill mastery at this time.
We are a community, and we are here to support one another through challenging times. The success of the MCDS@home plan is centered on our collective willingness to pitch in and help and our individual willingness to ask for help when it is needed. Members of our community will have vastly differing needs right now. You will find the support you need in this community. Flexibility and compassion will be vital.
If you ask ten different people to explain why they love MCDS, you may hear ten different answers. What they will all have in common is their mention of community. This is a time for our community to come together and support each other. We will be doing everything we can on our end to continue engaging our community and ask for your help in joining those attempts. If you have not yet done so, please like our Facebook page or connect via Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.