Conchita Espinosa Academy, a K3 through eighth grade independent private school in southwest Miami-Dade that also houses a Conservatory of the Arts, has completely reimagined education through distance learning while working diligently with families to remain faithful to its educational approach.
For more than 85 years, Conchita Espinosa Academy (CEA) has prepared students to be educated, cultured and kind citizens who are empowered to look for the best in others and themselves. CEA seeks to shape students into young men and women who actively explore interests, hone talents and advocate ideas.
Transferring these values to a digital space was a goal the school and Conservatory of the Arts were not willing to forgo amid the COVID-19 crisis that forced schools to close. These unforeseen circumstances challenged CEA to adopt a growth mindset and thinking innovatively—how does the school offer its students a sense of normalcy, maintain its educational objectives and transfer learning to an online platform?
“We knew it was important to start strong with synchronous, as well as asynchronous sessions and assignments, because the development of human relations, particularly student-teacher and peer relationships, are so crucial to our mission,” says Elisabela Valls, communications director at Conchita Espinosa Academy. “Without that face-to-face interaction, daily check-ins and space for dialogue and discussion, we would not be fulfilling the mission we have promised our families.
“A few days after school began online, arts classes followed. A few days after that, the Conservatory of the Arts went live with real-time private music lessons, and group dance, theater, and visual arts classes. Today, almost two weeks into distance learning, all students are engaged through their core subjects, as well as music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and physical education.
“Children need to move, they need to sing, they need to create,” Valls adds. “These are the things that maintain our humanity, and this is needed more than ever in times of crisis. The arts heal the body and the soul, and having the opportunity to share this with our families is priceless.”