Clariden Is Committed to Supporting Our Students & Parents
During this unprecedented time of sheltering at home, students and parents need our support. Clariden is committed to supporting not only our students, but also their parents who are struggling to work and care for their children at this time. On March 23, 2020, Clariden launched its online instructional program to keep “real school” going for our families.
Clariden’s Commitment to Support Our Students and Parents:
- Clariden’s Teachers Delivering Instruction in Online Classrooms That Provide Social & Emotional Connection for Students
- Provide Real, Accredited Curriculum Continuing This Year’s Lesson Plans & Objectives
- Minimize the Slide By Providing Maximum Instructional Days for a Complete School Year
- Provide Real Grades for Earned Work for School Transcriptions – No Pass/Fail Helps With Long-Term College Preparedness
Small, Mighty & Agile
It’s during times of stress that Clariden’s small classes & community really show their worth. There is unquestionable value in being small and agile because it means we are able to respond quickly and with quality. Clariden’s unique, small private school environment means that teachers know each of their students well. Students trust their teachers and classmates in return. There is a team-mindset in each classroom. That team-mindset isn’t limited to a physical space — it’s a set of interpersonal relationships that can be easily transferrable to a variety of environments. That’s why Clariden’s students are so equipped to do field study at such a young age. They travel to new places, first local, and then overnight trips, and eventually national and international travel. It’s because they know they are a team and between their classmates and their teacher there is TRUST.
This environment during normal times cultivates confidence, independence and a knowing in our students that they can use their voice to tell their teachers what they need. Early on, when we started preparing to switch to online instruction, we knew our students would be able to make this shift. They are agile, just like our school. Clariden doesn’t have to wait for decisions to be made through a big hierarchy. We can respond directly to the needs of our students through the strong structure already in place within our classrooms.
Clariden’s teachers are working full time, and then some, to prepare and deliver a real classroom experience for our students. Shifting to an online classroom gives the teachers and students the ability to connect with each other. They see ALL of each other’s faces. They laugh and brainstorm together. It’s not a one-way conversation. It’s real social and emotional interaction that keeps students emotionally healthy and gives them a meaningful and welcome distraction from the stress of the sheltering at home orders. Giving students the ability to see their teacher’s face gives them a gift of security. Our small classrooms have always provided this unique bond between teacher and student, and now more than ever, this is a gift to students and parents.
Clariden’s curriculum is not only accredited, but it’s also award-winning. It is critical to us to maintain academic standards during this time. Our teachers continue to work diligently to convert their pre-approved lesson plans to an online format that they can deliver to our students. This is the real difference between instructional lessons and “enrichment materials” — e.g. worksheets. Clariden is ensuring our students and their parents get the highest-quality instructional content that we can provide for their tuition dollars in a remote learning environment.
As educators, we know our first goal has to be to minimize the negative impact of this shelter-at-home on our students. We all know that there’s a “summer slide” that happens where students’ memories need refreshing as they come back each Fall. We know that without intense focus on our team’s part to keep our students engaged, there will be a regression effect from being out of the classroom. That’s why we are committed to keeping instructional content going. We have reclaimed scheduled days off for holidays and breaks and are continuing instruction during those days. There were only 5 school days lost as we gave our families time to get back from Spring Break and get set up for this new format. By the end of the school year, our goal is to have completed the full instructional days required as part of our accreditation (which is longer than the public school system).
We are focused on this, not because we have state-funding to be concerned about, but because we know our students and their families deserve the high quality schooling that they rely upon Clariden to deliver. Clariden’s curriculum works because of our personalized approach. We are able to advance students through materials with a variety of engagement methods. Those core elements then get used to propel students forward through the active learning processes of Project Based Learning which helps synthesize those skills in real-world problem solving, critical thinking and applied knowledge. Our student’s future depends on us keeping their mental muscles working, regardless of their physical location.
You might think that moving to a Pass/Fail system would be a good thing. Think again. For our high school students who know the importance of their grades on their high school transcript — there’s no question. The impact of the 2020 Spring Semester will have ripple effects on college entrance criteria for years to come. Making sure that our students get real credit for real work done is critical. We are making sure that when college admissions staff look at our students — and compare them to other qualified candidates — that our students have the competitive advantage of an earned grade. This is valuable proof of real work being done, despite the physical location of our students during this time.
The Clariden School of Southlake is accredited by the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS.org) for students 3 years through High School. TAAPS upholds strict standards for accreditation ensuring exemplary organization and governance, guidelines for administration, faculty, facilities, finances, students, and academic programs. We are also a proud member of the Texas Private Schools Association (texasprivateschools.org).
What Is Project Based Learning?
This short video from Edutopia helps explain the theory behind Project Based Learning curriculum. “In this hands-on approach to teaching, students create schoolwork that demonstrates core subject knowledge. For more information and resources on project-based learning, visit http://www.edutopia.org/project-learning”
Top 10 Reasons Why Clariden Excels at PBL
- Clariden follows the Buck Institute’s Gold Standard when developing and implementing our projects.
- Projects are developed to meet and exceed Texas State Standards as well as meet all elements of the required Gold Standard for PBL.
- Projects span a length of time (4-12 weeks). This allows for a greater level of understanding – mastery of concepts and an in-depth understanding of how concepts apply to real world problems.
- Clariden‘s projects are designed to allow for creativity, collaboration and for students to have choice and ownership of their learning.
- Clariden‘s learning environment is designed to promote student voice. Students learn to use their voice to state what they know, what they’ve learned and how to present in a manner that reflects their knowledge of content and concepts and their ability to problem solve.
- Clariden‘s projects are enhanced by field study and travel.
- Clariden students gain knowledge from experts and mentors.
- Project work is integrated with concepts learned in content time. This reinforces learning and allows for further exploration.
- Clariden designs projects that challenge students to think about and create items that they may have previously had no experience with. For example: rockets, robots, the rain forest, rovers, Texas ecosystems, roller coasters, hatching of baby chicks, etc.
- Clariden students are actively engaged in their learning and are happy to be at school and most importantly – happy and eager to learn.