Wheaton's St. Francis High School sets the bar for E-Learning

Submitted by Krystal LaMantia
Updated 4/23/2020 11:41 PM

Nearly one month into E-Learning, St. Francis High School in Wheaton is proud to report that student attendance remains steady as E-Learning continues during the stay-at-home order. The students began E-Learning classes on March 19.

Four weeks later, students remain engaged in their studies with attendance averaging at 99.5 percent.


Thanks to the school's forward thinking, establishing robust technology into the curriculum and instruction as one of 39 U.S. Microsoft Showcase Schools, E-Learning launched smoothly, allowing for 99.3 percent attendance rates on the first day.

Real-time schedules and comprehensive instruction on agile Microsoft Surface Pros keep students on track during these at-home days.

The main reason that E-Learning is successful is because St. Francis High School is a 1-1 Microsoft Showcase School. As a 1-1 Microsoft Showcase School, during E-Learning days, St. Francis High School teachers provide instruction to students virtually via Microsoft OneNote or Microsoft Teams, or use an online platform like onCampus (LMS). Even though students are not physically at school, class activities and assignments occur in real time, and allow students to take advantage of learning opportunities outside of the traditional school day.

St. Francis students have continued to progress in the curriculum with a full suite of educational provisions supporting them. Teachers continue to assess and grade student work, counselors continue to provide needed support, IT is still at the ready for any issues that arise -- playing a vital part in making sure everything runs as smooth as possible.

This leading-edge approach is why other schools looking to implement education technology, turn to St. Francis High School for guidance.

According to Assistant Principal Cindy Johnson, "While working with partners like EdTech Solutions, who assist schools' transition to advanced deployment of electronic textbooks, St. Francis High School has become the point of reference for schools considering incorporating e-books into their classrooms."

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Notably, the academic schedule during E-Learning varies from the traditional in-class agenda. Class periods are also divided during this time with periods 1-4 and 5-8 occurring on alternating days.

Since St. Francis High School is a college preparatory school, this E-Learning platform prepares students for online college classes as collegiate courses often expect online learners to be engaged, present and adept in this learning environment.

"I am so very proud of how our entire community is working together to provide our students structure and continuity with their education. We know these are not easy times, and we continue to keep our SFHS students at the heart of all our thoughts and decisions. Our goal is to support them the best we can as we all adapt to this new normal." said Principal Raeann Huhn "I am inspired by the way our students are facing this challenging time. I so look forward to the day that we will open our doors and welcome students back."

St. Francis High School is a Catholic, college preparatory learning community that promotes spiritual, academic, physical, and social development in the daily presence of Jesus Christ. Visit www.sfhscollegeprep.org.

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