Prepared for remote learning: How one student thrived

Exactly how does attending an intimate learning environment like New Morning School in Plymouth, MI. prepare a student for a larger school?


In the case of Greyson, he found the skills he acquired while attending New Morning through seventh grade served him well in a new school with a much different learning environment.


“Greyson just finished his 8th grade year at Divine Child,” said his mother, Kate. “What I realized during this last quarter of the year, is how much all of the independent learning he had at New Morning School set him up to succeed in a distance-learning environment.”

The effect of the Coronavirus on elementary education

The impact of COVID-19 on schools was huge. In Michigan, schools were initially closed in the winter of 2020, then were eventually ordered shut for in-person learning for the remainder of the school year.


That led to most schools adapting some form of at-home learning. Schools worked to develop more in-depth learning, requiring the students to remain disciplined and self-motivated.


But Kate noted that the independent learning offered at New Morning did well to prepare her son for a virtual learning environment with his new parochial school in Dearborn.


“Greyson did not miss a beat,” Kate said. “He woke up every morning, ate breakfast and got to work. He prioritized his subjects and one by one, knocked out his assignments each day and was typically finished by lunch.”


She acknowledged learning during the Coronavirus created a different classroom environment this year. But to his credit, Greyson was ready to pivot to – and thrive with – remote learning.

Prepared to handle remote learning in a new school environment

“While I am sure there were probably additional things that would have been assigned had they been in the classroom, the assignments he was given were pretty equivalent to what he had experienced in person all year,” Kate said. “He wrote essays, created video presentations, did science experiments, and absolutely crushed his honors algebra 2/trigonometry class.


“We know that not all kids adjusted as well. When some of the teachers reiterated late assignments needing to be turned in, or re-emphasized that staying up late and starting their work at 1:00 in the afternoon may not be the best, or offering Zoom meeting sessions for those kids that had low grades or missed work, Greyson and I would just look at each other wondering, ‘Who does that?’”


Head of School Elaine Kennedy explained how the New Morning method prepares students not only for present learning, but for future learning in both high school and college.


Early proof of this preparation also comes with the success enjoyed by students when pressed into a new learning environment.


“Since 1973, we have always stressed student initiative and independence in completing work. At New Morning School, students take responsibility for their work and ‘own’ their own learning,” she said. “The purpose in this methodology is to prepare our students for the future, and it turns out to be just the skills that students need for remote learning as well.”

Why New Morning students are able equipped to manage change

At New Morning School, students learn from a very young age to take responsibility for their work and to not only set their own learning goals, but gain the tools and confidence to act on those goals.


So, whether it comes to being forced into remote learning during a pandemic, or to simply gain the tools to move onto a much larger public or private school, New Morning students are not told to get to work, but but are able to learn how to their budget time and to understand the importance of preparation and discipline.

And, through students being encouraged to discover their academic passion, they have true ownership over their educational path.


“I guess my point is that Greyson’s success always goes seems to go back to his experiences at New Morning School, and we are so grateful,” Kate said. “He is more than ready for high school and this is ultimately what we were working toward.


“Now, on to the next adventure of getting him ready for college!”

Discover what New Morning School can offer your child

New Morning School is offering limited enrollment for the 2020-21 school year where students will be in session five days per week, with necessary COVID precautions. It will offer the same nurturing, innovative environment it has since 1973.


Located in western Wayne County, New Morning School draws students from several communities in Wayne County, Oakland County and Washtenaw County