ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, 18 March 2020: We Are Here for You


Things are changing quickly for independent schools, so we are gathering technology leaders every Wednesday at 1pm EST for a virtual town hall discussion. We’ll address your challenges and share lessons learned. Here we share our video archive from the ATLIS Town Hall on March 18, 2020. -- AC

[10-minute read; 1-hour video]

The ATLIS Virtual Town Hall on March 18 brought together technology leaders from across the country to share insights from the past few weeks of transformation at their schools. Their discussions addressed lessons learned and ideas for improvement as we move into phase 2 of this new learning environment. 

Virtual Town Hall Archive 


The Virtual Town Hall occurs every Wednesday at 1 pm Eastern. Free and open to all: registration required. Our next Virtual Town Hall airs Wednesday, March 25. Learn more and register here.

Key Takeaways

As technology departments are taxed to the limit to provide support for a transition to online learning during the COVID-19 crisis, many participants asked, “Where can we reach out for more help?” Here are some of the answers from our conversation.

  • *Create routine by kicking off the beginning of each check-in with the teacher on video with the students.”

  • *Get help from students, librarians or other teachers who are not as taxed. Librarians can hold ‘office hours.’”

  • *Pair teachers up with a buddy; create a virtual faculty lounge/”

  • *Use student mentors to help faculty with tech. They can serve as test students while giving feedback in a constructive way.”

How are schools conducting hiring interviews at this time?

  • *Post video lessons for interviews. Invite candidates to step into Zoom online classes.”

How can we help maintain social emotional health, especially for teachers who are working so hard to make online learning available.

  • "Write digital thank you notes and reflections (students & staff) as a way to help maintain community, wellbeing, and relationships.”

Successes and Lessons Learned

Create a clear communications plan, especially for triaging help requests. 

Emphasize the need for tending to students’ and teachers’ emotional needs. (Tech team too!)

Provide support for families and parents. How can they find the support they need?

Rethink synchronous vs. asynchronous meetings. Which do you really need and when? What’s right for your students in each division?

Facilitate meetings for divisions and teams.

Resources from the Chat

Christian Brothers School, Online Classroom Guide
Christian Brothers School, Corona (Folder)
James Doubek and Art Silverman, A Broadway Star And #SunshineSongs Bring High School Musical Theater To Small Screens, NPR: All Things Considered,March 16, 2020.
Lausanne Collegiate School, Virtual Learning
Lausanne Collegiate School, What to Expect 
Ravenscroft School, Coronavirus Resources
Ravenscroft School, Ravenscroft School's Virtual Learning Approach
Roycemore School, Remote Learning Plan 
Sandy Spring Friends School, SSFS Virtual Learning Site 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants, Deadline April 10, 2020.

New Resources from the ATLIS Clearinghouse

Ankura, A Guide to Securely Working from Home
Charles Wright Academy, Remote Learning at CWA, Webpage.
How to Work From Home Like A Boss, Washington Post, 19 March 2020, Build Classroom Belonging, Practices Guide
Knowing Technologies Spark Sessions (Free PD)
Learning in a Time of Coronavirus (Responses)
Microsoft, Remote Learning with Microsoft Edu: Webinar Schedule
Microsoft, Join the Microsoft Enabling Remote Learning Community
Microsoft, Follow @Mtholfsen on Twitter for MicrosoftEdu 
Microsoft, Quick tip videos for Microsoft Education features
Scrible, Helping Teachers and Students Stay Connected During Coronavirus Disruption (free pro plan)
Time for Kids, Digital Library Free for the Rest of the Year

Humor (for When You Need It)
Colleen Flaherty, 'I Will Survive' Teaching Online,Inside Higher Ed, 17 March 2020. (Includes viral video and lyrics by  Michael Bruening.)
David Zhou, Zoom Pro Tip 3: Make it a video background to have a convincing loop of you looking engaged, Twitter Post, 18 March 2020.
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