St. Peter School community works together through pandemic

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St. Peter School kindergarten teacher Eileen Baglivio [from right] and aide Cathi Russ social distance visited their students this past weekend delivering activities and celebratory signs. Here they are visiting the Hertling Family including kindergartener Evelyn. PHOTO COURTESY OF LORRAINE KNEPPLE

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — St. Peter School has been working through these tough times to continue the education of their students remotely. Teachers and staff have been trying new methods to teach lessons all while keeping their students engaged in their learning experiences.

“Generally, the teachers are trying to maintain as consistent of learning as possible,” said first-grade teacher Donna Nocchi. “The kids have been great, the parents are awesome.”

The school teaches online using Google services with activities, online lessons, videos and more.

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“We’re all learning a lot more technology than before,” said Ms. Nocchi. “That’s been good learning new ways of teaching which is great for the kids. That’s how they enjoy learning.”

“We can post a lesson, and they can watch it when it’s convenient for them,” she said.

The teachers have also brought home some surroundings from their classroom to have in their videos to make the children feel more connected to learning.

“The kids are communicating with us all day and all week, with little emails and pictures and things that they’re doing,” said Ms. Nocchi.

She said all the teachers are trying to do things to keep the kids engaged and still make school fun. The school held a virtual talent show through YouTube as well as a virtual art show.

This past weekend the school even continued its giving collecting food for Fulfill in Monmouth and Ocean County as well as Ocean Medical Center from families.

“Because service is at the core of our values, it is important for us to continue to do that while we are on home instruction,” said Ms. Nocchi.

The children also made cards for medical workers, “just keeping the spirit of what we do alive while the kids are home,” she said.

“Everybody from the students to the faculty to the parents just rose to the occasion and its really going well,” said Ms. Nocchi. “I’d certainly much rather be in the classroom with my kids.”

This past weekend a few teachers took it on themselves to deliver supplies, activities and even congratulation signs to St. Peter’s students during this time of distance learning.

“We have packages ready for them with all these things for them to do to create two different STREAM [Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math] programs, one about plants and growing and one is all about birds,” said kindergarten teacher Eileen Baglivio.

Ms. Baglivio, along with her aid Cathi Russ, went around to all the kindergarteners to drop off projects as well as celebratory signs.

She said her students were excited about seeing their teachers, with her being as excited to see them.

For her, online instruction has been going well, she said.

“It’s a little hard because you want to explain things but the parents have been doing such a great job on it so all of their work has been coming back perfectly,” she said. “They have been really accomplishing everything I’ve been sending home, which is great.”

Ms. Baglivio also said with virtual meetings, “it’s really very calming to see everyone’s faces and to know they’re OK.”

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