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October 20, 2020

Congrats to our School Spotlight — Cheverus!

Cheverus High School was selected among other amazing Studyo partners as our spotlight school this month! They have made strong efforts to get students onboarded and engaged with the platform, despite the universally hectic start of the 2020-21 academic year.

What makes Cheverus special? It’s the fact that “admin, teachers and staff are constantly available for student support,” says Kerry Knott, Instructional Support teacher for freshmen and sophomores.

Sue Van Wyck, the Director of Instructional Support, echoes that sentiment— “We are a small school with a dedicated staff committed to developing the 'whole' person. It's hard for a student to 'fall through the cracks.'”

Cheverus is a small, faith-based college preparatory school in Portland, Maine that provides rigorous AP and Honours courses as well as extensive Instructional Support classes. They launched with Studyo this September looking for a way to help Instructional Support students during hybrid learning. “With the transition to remote learning,” explains Kerry, “we found a lot of gaps and challenges with student organization. Distance learning created more moving parts to a Cheverus student's already busy schedule.”

So far, the team has rolled Studyo out to the whole school, but with a specific focus on Instructional Support classes. This course section helps students acquire the skills they need to transition to college, and welcomes all students that need extra help, whether they have coded learning disabilities or not. Sue and Kerry have both done extensive work with individual students— Sue notes that they’ve been walking students through the platform as they share screens through Zoom. “[Our] short- term goals are to help IS students feel organized and less anxious about navigating hybrid learning,” adds Kerry. “We want to help keep them organized.”

Their next steps? “We plan to introduce it to our freshmen class,” Sue shares— and since our initial conversation, they’ve done just that! Jane Glass, the school’s librarian and webmaster, has been another key member of the Cheverus launch team and has taken both the technical and pedagogical ends of the tool in stride. She’s introduced Studyo to each freshmen class, walking students through how to use the platform. Sue says that in the long term, they hope to onboard every student at the school, with Kerry adding that they’d like to “to really utilize the planning tools to help with executive functioning, time management and study skills. I think the more students become familiarized with the program and functions, the more they will be able to start using the tools to break down large assignments into smaller parts.”

In the midst of their successful launch, I asked if they had any advice to share with new Studyo schools. “Teacher encouragement and use is very essential,” Sue advises. Indeed, a great deal of Cheverus’ success so far is due to the hard work and engagement of their launch team. Kerry shared the capability of Studyo’s potential for distance learning, adding, “if you are in a hybrid learning format, Studyo is extremely helpful due to its connectivity to Google Classroom. It is a great tool to keep kids on track with their assignments.”