With COVID-19 lingering for the remainder of 2020, school administrators are recognizing that today’s new normal is hardly temporary. The challenges of shifting to a remote learning model are clear, with teachers at some schools across the U.S. reporting that fewer than half of their students are participating in online learning1. Then there’s Matthew Kamien, Principal at St. John’s Lutheran School in a Chicago suburb. Using Avaya Spaces, he successfully transitioned his entire student body (grades pre-school through 8) to an immersive online learning program within one week of the state’s shelter in place orders. The online experience has been so great that the overwhelming majority of parents said they would be happy with the quality of their child’s education should the school permanently transition to remote learning. With such success, the school has decided to continue full-time online learning to start the 2020-2021 academic year.
Avaya Spaces enabled St. John’s to quickly implement a simple, single, user-friendly solution that students, teachers, and administrators could use on any device without the need to install and maintain software. Beyond education, St. John’s is using the platform for board meetings, and faculty meetings. “I’ve always considered myself a pioneer of new technology and ideas for educating, but COVID-19 was a challenge beyond anything I could have imagined. It wasn’t about just using a video solution to see each other. It was about moving operations entirely online,” Kamien explained. “Having the Avaya OneCloud™ solution with Avaya Spaces allowed our school and parish to continue its feeling of connected family and community. When seeking a solution, this was paramount. It is who we have been for over 150 years.”