Adelphi Academy’s Innovative Approach to
Distance Learning Keeps Students Engaged

Middle Schooler Kenn performs his pepper and soap experiment!

Middle Schooler Kenn performs his pepper and soap experiment!

BAY RIDGE – Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, like so many other local schools during this trying time, has been forced to think differently about education and day-to-day operations in the age of coronavirus.

The historic Bay Ridge private school, which has spent an incredible 157 years in dedicated service to the education of “the total child,” implemented an innovative distance learning program to help stay connected with its students and their families amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Teachers are now using the latest video chatting software to conduct virtual lessons with their entire classes in real time, according to Academy officials.

“We wanted to keep things as close to normal for our students as possible during this difficult time,” Head of School Ms. Iphigenia Romanos said. “Utilizing the latest technology, Adelphi was able to quickly implement a state-of-the-art distance learning program that allows teachers and their students to connect in real time and keep up the routine of ‘going to school,’ albeit remotely.”

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. In its first week alone, Middle School students conducted a timely virtual science experiment to show the effects of soap and water on a substance, while Lower Schoolers enjoyed a virtual trip to the aquarium and gathered for group story time with their teacher.

In recent weeks, the program has expanded to include weekly schoolwide virtual gatherings as well as homeroom challenges that award points for the class that answers a particular riddle or question correctly in the shortest amount of time. The challenge series was developed and organized by members of Adelphi’s Student Advisory Board.

“The weekly Student Advisory Board Challenge series is a great example of how our students have rallied together and shown leadership in the face of tremendous adversity,” Ms. Romanos said. “In a time when many might feel disconnected, Adelphi Academy students have shown that it is indeed possible to remain active and involved in their school community. These weekly online gatherings and associated activities help keep the bond we all share as Adelphians incredibly strong.”

Student Advisory Board members gather with their classmates to unveil the winner of their weekly challenge!

Student Advisory Board members gather with their classmates to unveil the winner of their weekly challenge!

The distance learning program continues to expand and evolve at Adelphi, as students also regularly connect online for virtual meetings of their favorite clubs and extracurricular activities like Brain Games, the Art Club and the school newspaper, The Adelphi Oracle. In addition, homeroom teachers have continued to incorporate technology into their daily meetings. Upper Schoolers recently came together as a class to set out on an adventure via the classic computer game “The Oregon Trail.” Working as a team, the students made decisions in real time that affected the outcome of the game as well as their characters’ survival on their way from Missouri to Oregon via covered wagon in 1848.

As the oldest private, independent, continuing, coeducational, college-preparatory day school in the borough and one of the oldest in the nation, Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, “the little school of big dreams” has been “effectively preparing  young people for college, career, and life, one day at a time” for over 150 years.  Founded in 1863 and located in the historic Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Adelphi enrolls students from two years of age through twelfth grade.  A strong emphasis is placed on small class size, individualized attention, self expression, critical thinking and challenging hands-on learning through Adelphi’s founding philosophy and dedication to the education of the “total child”. Adelphi students excel within a small, intimate, safe, caring, nurturing, and secure environment through Adelphi’s core values and founding principles of pride, tradition, spirit, and excellence. The student-teacher ratio is 8 to 1 and Adelphi is a New York State Regents Exempt Program with a 100% college application, acceptance and attendance rate.  A founding member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Adelphi receives its charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and has been a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools since 1928.  Ms. Iphigenia Romanos serves as Head of School.

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Photos courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn