The Leelanau School Replicates Boarding And Day School Program In The Wake of COVID-19

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - May 4, 2020 - PRLog -- During this unexpected time of distance learning due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, schools have had to pivot nearly overnight. A particular challenge for boarding schools, who deliver a 24 hour, residence-based curriculum.

"The very nature of education is to help people discover the ability to do things they have never done before and such faith in the capacity of each person to rise to the challenge is the very essence of teaching," says Rob Hansen, Head of School

Leelanau students are maintaining consistency with a weekly schedule that replicates a normal day on campus. They continue to attend all 8 of their classes, including all electives, arts, physical fitness, and learning skills courses. Attendance is taken, and participation is assessed. Learning as a cooperative community remains a priority. Classes are real-time sessions, complete with discussions, small group breakouts, independent activities, and one-on-one coaching. Each academic day includes an hour of office hours for each teacher. Expectations for engagement and quality effort has not been reduced. Teachers are introducing new content, and inventing meaningful ways to engage deep thinking, develop new skills, and collaborate with peers. Individualized assessment and grading, with students progressing to the next grade level and acquiring credits as they normally would continues.

"I think the biggest advantage we have over other schools experiences right now is our class sizes and the fact I am getting the same amount of 1 on 1 attention time from my teacher as I would be if I were physically in class," says Sophie Wright (Junior)

The counseling and dean's offices remain active, to bring support and intervention to those who are struggling academically, socially, or emotionally.

To maintain the critical sense of community, each morning begins with an all-school meeting that recreates what normally happens during morning breakfast on-campus; students and staff share announcements, celebrate accomplishments, and start each day with a positive mindset. Fridays are reserved for weekly all-school assemblies, advisory gatherings, club meetings, and student performances. A menu of recreational activities are offered each evening, creating opportunities for students to socialize together through games, craft projects, and fitness activities.

Senior Jack Simermeyer says, "Even though we are far apart, screens have not limited the emotional connections that I feel with my teachers and friends. The Leelanau I have been lucky enough to experience has not changed since I had to do online learning, and I doubt that it ever will."


The Leelanau School is a Glen Arbor, Michigan based independent boarding and day high school offering students an experiential college-prep education with integrated learning support, individualized attention, small classes, and a commitment to whole-person wellness.

Kristie McCaw, Director of Marketing
The Leelanau School
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Tags:Distance Learning
Location:Traverse City - Michigan - United States
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