In just a matter of days, Santa Margarita Catholic High School was able to shift to distance learning this spring. As a Microsoft Showcase School, students and faculty have the same tablet/PC and associated software, giving teachers the ability to transition efficiently and effectively through the school's one-to-one tablet PC program. Microsoft Teams, OneNote and the school's Learning Portal allowed students and teachers to engage and collaborate remotely through live classes, virtual discussions, projects and class assignments. Classrooms were quickly replaced by living rooms, home offices and dining room tables while instruction and learning continued.
SM parent Lisa E. says, “Thank you for leading a school that continues to impress and amaze me – SM has stepped up in an unprecedented way to maintain the highest level of learning possible.”
“Online learning has been great! There has been a lot of work, but the amount of time and flexibility in my schedule makes the amount of work reasonable. Teachers have been very prepared with the sudden switch,” reports SM student, Lucas C.
Nine full-time counselors continue to conduct virtual one-on-one meetings with students to discuss their future class schedules, college admissions decisions and assist with preparing students for the college admissions season next fall. The counseling office has also made it possible for students to virtually visit over 45 college campuses.
SM students participated in numerous virtual events including a Model United Nations conference, athletic workouts and musical rehearsals. Teachers remained in close contact with students, even sending personalized cards.
Campus Ministry was active in student lives through remote prayer gatherings and check-ins, word and worship, lunchtime virtual hangouts, reflections from students, and tips to build and maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ.
In these uncertain times, the school remains passionately dedicated to students and families. Tuition will not increase for the 2020-2021 school year.
Our prayers go out to seniors. The school’s leadership team continues to explore alternative plans for graduation and several senior activities for senior week at the end of July with the health and safety of our students the school's highest priority. Hand-delivered care packages, social media spotlights, a senior class drive-thru and virtual events are just a few of the ways SMCHS has celebrated the class of 2020.
Caritas Christi, which means “the love of Christ,” embodies the four principles of the school’s charism: humility, compassion, goodness, and justice. These valuesare lived out by students daily as they support one another and the greater community. Students are sewing masks for those on the frontlines and writing gratitude letters to our healthcare heroes, senior citizens, and essential workers to name a few projects.