Camelot Education’s Academy East Staff Volunteers Supply Students with Computers for Online Learning
In unprecedented times, Aristotle’s philosophy that “the essence of life is to serve others and to do good” could not be truer right now. In Philadelphia, the staff of Camelot Academy East have fulfilled this notion in an enormous way by providing students and families with necessary resources during this very difficult time.
After the school’s leadership team moved quickly to re-organize its operations to facilitate distance learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it deployed a strategy to transition its staff and students to continue teaching and learning in the new environment.
The first task was to select an online learning platform that would best suit the teaching and learning style of the school, the teachers and the students. Then, teachers had to become knowledgeable with the online teaching tool, and translate their lesson plans into this new environment. Finally, the school had to ensure that all students had laptops to access the academic curriculum and tools.
“It took a lot of orchestrating to amplify the online platform that we use to supplement direct instruction,” said Jennifer Green, Executive Director of Camelot Academy East. “We organized extensive staff training then worked out how we would get laptops out to all our students.”
In the spirit of volunteerism, the school worked in conjunction with the School District of Philadelphia’s computer distribution efforts last week (April 13 – 17) to lend laptops to students who did not have a working computer at home. For those who were unable to receive their laptops during the scheduled time, Camelot Academy East staff organized alternate pickup times to accommodate students, parents and guardians with different schedules.
In addition to providing laptops, the team distributed care packages that included toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion and deodorant to ensure families are well supplied with essential items, possibly saving them a trip to the store during this time. The entire distribution process was done while observing social distance guidelines to protect student, staff and family health.
“We have already heard from students and they are very enthusiastic about online learning even though it will look a lot different (from being in the school building),” said Camelot Academy East Principal Krista Maugle.
Along with Krista, the team of volunteers who assisted with distributing laptops and care packages included Kya Riley, Director of Student Services; Samantha Petroski, Clinical Director; Thomas Jenkins, Director of Operations; Michael Blunt, Middle School Team Leader; and Kevin Harris, High School Team Leader.
“I have seen all the hard work that my staff has been doing,” Green said. “I appreciate all the volunteers who distributed the computers to the students and their families.”
Camelot Academy East is a proud member of the School District of Philadelphia’s Opportunity Network.