Shipley Learns Online

Upper School Tips: Supporting Student Achievement in Shipley Learns Online

Tips for Upper School Students

From Wendy Eiteljorg, Director of Curricular Innovation and Learning Design

Find a space that will be your learning space.
You might have to get creative.

Create a signal or routine that indicates it’s time for learning and let others in your household know what that is.
  • When your headphones are on, does that signal that it’s time for a class meeting? 
  • Will you wear a particular hat, sweatshirt, or jacket that says, “I’m working now, please don’t bother me?” 
  • Maybe Shipley gear (or just a particular item) signals “I’m @Shipley.” 
  • Is there a particular chair each person sits in during work time?
Consider your ‘school day’ timing.
With virtual meetings being only part of your school day, you have some flexibility. Here are some things to consider:
  • Are you a morning person? Start your school day before your first meeting and get started with your daily work.
  • Not a morning person? Start your school day with your first meeting and plan to continue with your daily work until later in the afternoon or early evening.
  • Need breaks? Plan those into your day. Just remember to plan enough time for that daily work as well. 
Don’t put off until the evening what you can do during the day.
There’s no need to put off work until the evening now that you have more time to work during the day.

Plan time during each day or week to pursue your own interests. 
What other topics or investigations are you interested in that don’t fit so easily into your classes at school? Make time in your schedule for them. You can even keep a record of them in your digital portfolio.

Read, sing, paint, play music, meditate.
Especially the reading for pleasure thing.

Use the same common sense rules you follow when you're on campus.
  • Go to the bathroom before class meeting starts.
  • Have all your supplies next to you (book, text, notebook, pen/pencil, headphones, etc.).
  • Put your phone away—all the way away.
  • Charge your laptop or have it plugged in.

Tips for Upper School Parents/Guardians

From Margaret van Steenwyk, Upper School Head
  • Treat the launch of Shipley Learns Online much like you would treat the launch of the school year in September. Check in with your child about expectations, materials, and their schedule.
  • Know the lines of communication are open, reach out to Margaret Van Steenwyk, Head of Upper School, Patty Lein, Academic Dean or Anna Dejdar, Dean of Students, with any questions or concerns.
  • Make active use of Shipley’s support system, and urge your child to reach out to teachers or advisors when questions or concerns rise. Don’t wait, be proactive.
  • Make time to check in on your child’s day each day.
  • Walk the line (it is a thin one for adolescents) between independence and supervision/support.
  • Make sure your child takes breaks and has physical activity and social time each day.
  • Hold on to daily family traditions that are important for your child.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and record one good thing each day.

From Jennifer Myer Trainer, Upper School Academic Support
Parent engagement is key:
  • Show interest in the learning your young adult is doing, either through discussions at dinner or by asking them to teach you about something they learned that day or week.
  • Regular check-ins with ShipleyNet will be helpful to make sure your student is meeting deadlines. (Do not obsess over this – but be mindful.)
  • If you notice work is missing and not being handed in, reach out to your young adult’s advisor immediately.
  • If you notice that your young adult is not doing homework and seems to have a schedule that is not working for them, again try to establish a set routine and ask for support from the advisor or Academic Support.
We are all on a new learning curve and trying a new method of teaching, so there may be times we need to shift systems of learning that will best fit the students’ needs.  Please remember that we—teachers, advisors, academic support, and administration—are all here to support you on this new journey of learning.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.