TVT Community Day School in Irvine is living up to its ranking as the #1 K-12 Independent School in Orange County and #1 Jewish School in America with its seamless transition to a model program of distance learning. TVT is currently preparing to implement its on-site, top-rated instructional program for the 2020-21 school year. The plan places a priority on COVID-19 health and safety protocols while allowing for full-day, everyday instruction.
COVID-19 has presented a unique roadblock to the education system. The call for social distancing made traditional classrooms no longer an option during this time. On Thursday, March 12, 2020, TVT Community Day School was one of many independent schools in Orange County that announced a temporary closure of onsite learning, in favor of online learning, otherwise coined “distance learning.” This was quickly followed by all public schools in California and beyond.
While many schools struggled with this new normal, TVT Community Day School set the standard for quality distance learning. Within days of announcing their campus was closing to on-site learning, TVT implemented a seamless transition for all 620 students to distance learning. They developed their plan for distance learning nearly two years ago which required committing extensive resources for state-of-the-art infrastructure, hardware, faculty training, and staffing an IT department with four full-time employees.
With this plan, every student was equipped with the tools necessary to be successful in a robust learning environment, including regular live online classes. “This is perhaps the proudest moment of my career,” says Jill Quigley, TVT’s Middle and Upper School Principal. “To see our faculty shift from delivering their curriculum in the classroom to delivering that very same curriculum in a virtual environment is a marvel. The students are as engaged as ever.”
Dr. Michelle Bernat, TVT’s Lower School Principal, shared the feedback one parent gave her: “Teachers have picked up where they left off in terms of instruction and are providing a varied, distance-learning experience. They are reaching out with personal calls, Google Meets, and chats. My kids miss their friends and teachers, but they love seeing everyone online right now—it feels like our (TVT) community continues.”
Now, as schools across the state prepare to bring back students in the fall for a partial schedule, TVT is reopening its campus to full-day, on-campus learning.
Dr. Jeffrey Davis, TVT’s Head of School, says the school has developed a robust and innovative plan to allow for a full return to campus. “Government agencies are struggling to keep pace with the Covid-19 crisis. Knowing this, we decided to create a team of medical and health advisers of some of the best and most respected medical and science research people in California,” he said. “We have worked closely with them to establish the health and safety protocols that will allow our students to be among the first to return to full-time, on-campus learning in a safe and healthy environment.”
TVT students returned to campus beginning July 29 for a summer bridge program. Fall classes will commence on campus on August 24, 2020.
Founded in 1991, TVT Community Day School is an inclusive Jewish school of inquiry and innovation where academics are important and character is paramount.