About Peck

Distance Learning at Peck

Classroom | Reimagined

Peck’s program is inspired by our institutional belief that, in life, knowledge must be guided by values. Whether in the virtual environment or physical one, this remains our guiding principle as we adapt our timeless and transformational program to the unique challenges and opportunities that arise during a time of social distancing. While distance learning cannot fully replace what happens face-to-face at Peck, our approach to virtual learning nurtures authentic student engagement, affords ample space for small-group and individualized attention, and preserves the strong ties that bind the Peck community.
 
Our distance learning program has five main goals: 
  • to deliver the innovative, inspiring, and rigorous program that Peck is known for, albeit virtually;  
  • to maintain a strong sense of community and teacher-student relationships; 
  • to nurture student agency, curiosity, and an authentic love of learning; 
  • to provide support and resources for families during this challenging time; and finally, 
  • to learn and grow together during this unique and unprecedented time.

Sustaining Our Community

Our commitment to maintaining our close-knit community informs every facet of our distance learning program, from face-to-face connections afforded by synchronous classroom learning, to frequent 1:1 check-ins between teachers, students, and parents. Outside of our academic framework, we keep families connected by: 
 
  • Maintaining our Downy/Redhead Tradition: A beloved tradition in the Peck experience, students can virtually earn points for their team via "Job Well Done" tickets for exceptional contributions to the community or GooseChase virtual scavenger hunt missions.

  • Daily Greetings: Teachers and students send daily "hello" videos with positive messages to our community. 

  • Frequent Virtual Community Gatherings: We host weekly assemblies for students and their teachers, as well as virtual "class coffees" for parents to touch base with each other and their children's teachers/administrators.

From the Distance Learning Classroom

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 items.

  • What are Peck's plans for the 2020-2021 school year?

    At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peck established two task forces that planned intensively to develop a number of academic and community strategies (including for re-entry in the fall of 2020) that prioritize the health and safety of our community. These task forces were comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators including the school nurse, director of facilities, director of technology, and school psychologists.
    • We are currently preparing campus to welcome students in-person in the fall of 2020; however, we are also planning for alternate scenarios. 

    • We plan to hold classes five days per week, with half-day Fridays. Students will be grouped in cohorts to minimize mixing with other grades.  Our spacious campus allows us to re-purpose our largest spaces for classroom use, and ensure that student cohorts have enough space for safe transitions.

    • We have made significant investments to facilities and cleaning procedures for health and safety, including (but not limited to) air purifier filters in our HVAC system, plexiglass barriers, sanitizer stations, electrostatic cleaners, and additional cleaning crew.
    Please see our Parent Resource page for more details about our plans for the 2020-21 school year.
  • What resources are available for parents?

    Peck places a high value on maintaining a strong partnership and open communication with parents and families, whether we can be physically together on campus or not!

    While students are distance learning, we maintain frequent and open communication with our parents and students.

    In addition to daily communications, a “digital” open-door policy for administrators and teachers, and the resources of our two school psychologists, Peck maintains a 
    parent resource page to serve as a communication hub for updates, FAQs, past communications, resources, and suggestions for activities to do at home.
  • Is the Admissions Office still open?

    Our Admissions Office is most certainly open—albeit, virtually! 

    As a first stop, we encourage you to schedule a
    Virtual Parent Meeting with a member of our Admissions Team. 
  • How can I tour campus and learn more about Peck’s program?

    Please schedule a Virtual Parent Meeting with a member of our Admissions Team. For a sneak peek into academic and campus life, you can explore our Visit Peck page for 360 degree virtual tours and an aerial tour of campus, as well as watch students and classes in action in our official school video.
  • How is Peck maintaining the teacher-student relationship?

    From day one, students at Peck are warmly welcomed into nurturing classroom communities. This leads to a sense of belonging and connection that is crucial to the wellbeing of our students, especially during this period of uncertainty.

    Please visit our Parent Resource page to learn the latest about our re-entry plans for the 2020-21 school year.

    When distance learning, multiple live classes are held daily for all students throughout K-8.  Classes meet via Zoom as homerooms or, in the Upper School, as small-sectioned groups, in order to maintain our low teacher-student ratio. Within this segmentation, smaller breakout groups are also used to provide targeted differentiated instruction and maintain personal connections.

    In our Lower School (Grades K-4), students start and end each day in "Morning Meeting" and "Closing Circle," which include time for socialization, group storytime, sharing, and fun activities.

    In our Upper School (Grades 5-8), students have daily time with their advisory groups, which provide space for connection, friendship, mutual support, and meaningful group discussion.

    In addition, homeroom teachers and advisors regularly hold 1:1 informal check-ins with students to maintain an individual relationship.
  • How were the various online tools chosen for distance learning?

    Our faculty and students use a variety of digital tools and virtual classroom spaces to support their learning, from kindergarten through eighth grade.

    Peck’s Technology, Innovation, & Design team comprehensively vets the technological tools we use to support learning, trains teachers, and frequently monitors the efficacy of those tools as they are used in the classroom.

    Our strategy for learning management systems and other digital tools aims to support engaged learning whether in the classroom or distance learning—with easy transitions between the two if the need arises.
  • What were the distance learning schedules like last year?

    We implemented distance learning frameworks for our Lower School (Grades K-4) and Upper School (Grades 5-8) that first established division goals and overarching daily and weekly schedules.

    This approach allowed us to adapt as we progressed through distance learning, and to improve upon daily subject schedules as fits the needs of our students and faculty.

    We retained our small class sizes for optimal differentiated instruction. Live classes typically met as homerooms (Grades K-4) or small/Advisory groups (Grades 5-8), with smaller breakout groups occurring within a live lesson as needed.

    Each grade had a customized schedule, with a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous learning, as well as opportunities for enrichment. Students received daily and weekly assignments, which included expectations for at-home reading.
  • Did Peck cover as much curriculum as they normally would?

    We understand that our students’ home situations during distance learning can vary greatly, from household to household, and day-to-day.

    That said, Peck teachers
    know their students: what they’re capable of, how they learn, where their interests lie, and how best to set them up for success in this new reality.  While we progressed through our core curriculum as planned, we focused on excellence, not perfection—ensuring that we paid as much attention to our community’s health and wellness as students' academic progress.
  • How does the Secondary School office supporting students during remote learning?

    Students typically spend the summer after seventh grade thinking about what kind of eighth-grader they will be, and we can certainly prepare them to do that from afar.

    Our Director of Secondary School, Christine Williams, guides seventh and eighth-grade students and families throughout the full planning, preparation, and application process for secondary school.

    Additionally, we have a process to guide seventh-graders in their preparations for eighth-grade leadership positions (such as Student Council and the Peck InDeCoRe Committee, among others) whether in-person or during distance learning.
  • How are Peck families engaging with the school community?

    Sustaining our close-knit community as best we can is a primary goal of our distance learning program. When we’re not together in person, Peck finds ways to keep our families feeling connected:

    • GooseChase: This fun, user-friendly scavenger hunt app allows us to continue our year long Downy-Redhead challenge with daily missions for students to earn points for their respective teams. Leaderboards are updated and announced weekly to the community.  Watch our Instagram channel for mission submissions!

    • Pride’s Student Corner: A dedicated space for students, this webpage features daily “hellos” from a community member, fun videos, activities, reading resources, and fitness challenges.

    • Camp Peck: Our AfterSchool and Auxiliary Programs Coordinator Ms. White leads live enrichment classes that bring fun and creativity for the whole family!  Past activities have included making sock bunnies, baking muffins with Mrs. Hunt (Peck's beloved receptionist), building a terrarium, engineering a dragon nightlight, and more. Explore our Camp Peck offerings on our Pride's Student Corner page!

    • Live Community Sessions via Zoom video conferencing:
      • Virtual assemblies
      • Virtual parent events
      • Daily small-group check-ins
      • Dedicated classroom time for socialization 

    • Frequent communications to parents with news and updates, and other community-building media.

Hello from Peck!

    • Hello from Summer D. '20!

      From cheery "hellos" to warm welcomes, Peck is a community that thrives in the everyday moments that build healthy and strong relationships. And now? Peck teachers and students have still found a way to connect—every day—with greetings, happy thoughts, and messages of encouragement. Here are just a few of our "Daily Hellos" for our families and faculty.


 

THE PECK SCHOOL

247 South Street  |  Morristown, NJ
973-539-8660  
Northern New Jersey's timeless and transformative co-ed independent elementary and middle school education for grades K-8.