Our Virtual Value
Safety. Support. Success.
Virtual Learning, In-Person Learning, Hybrid Model
The outstanding Xavier education gets delivered no matter the hurdle: The Xavier faculty delivers the same quality of education whether the student is in front of them in the classroom or at their computer screen at home. “Our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly under trying circumstances to maintain an excellent educational product for our students and families,” Principal Brendan Donohue said. Xavier started with in-person learning and shifted to virtual learning in November. A hybrid plan is in effect starting Jan. 11..
Virtual Academic Support
Need help? Have a question? We're here: Time is set aside by each teacher for those students who want extra help. “The asynchronous learning period from 1-3 every afternoon has worked very well,” Academic Dean Kyle St. George said. “Teachers are providing extra help to their students, club moderators are holding meetings, and students are taking advantage of the time to complete their assignments. Our AP and ECE teachers are also hosting extended class sessions during this period as well so they don’t fall behind in curriculum coverage.”
Virtual Guidance Support
Getting to know you: Fall is a time when the guidance department spends a lot of time with freshmen to make sure they are acclimated to the school and the workload, and with seniors to make sure they are on track in the college search process. That has not changed; it is done virtually, which has brought flexibility for families instead of them having to come into the school. Freshmen and senior parents meetings in the fall also were held virtually. “We’d like to continue to do them in person,” guidance counselor Beth Pattavina said, “but we could do it both ways, the in-person and virtual option.” The department also continues to keep up with any students who may need help. Every step of the way in the school year, the department is prepared to reach all students as the school year progresses and circumstances dictate.
Virtual Pastoral Counseling
One-on-one meetings via Microsoft Teams: Each student is assigned a pastoral advisor from the religion department or other select faculty. “Pastoral advising is an important part of what we do at Xavier, so there is availability, especially in the 1-3 p.m. time frame in the afternoon," Director of Campus Ministry Peter Lyons said. "Appointments are set up or students can reach out, and we do one-on-ones through Microsoft Teams.”
Falcon Watch Program
Keeping the community together On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Xavier initiated Student Wellness Advisory Groups (SWAG). The new program is called “Falcon Watch!” and came together as a result of a committee meeting to come up with ideas to keep students engaged virtually. Each group meets occasionally and is made up of about 16 students from different class years and one faculty or staff member in our community. The groups discuss various topics or take part in a fun group activity. “It is a way to keep students connected to some of their peers and adult members of our community,” Dean of Students Nick Cerreta ‘81 said.
Weekly Parents Email
Families top of mind: A weekly email to parents of Xavier students from Headmaster Dave Eustis keep parents informed on school happenings as well and any updates regarding COVID-19. “We want all of our families to be as up to date as possible on what is happening in our school community,” Eustis said. “This has always been the case and that commitment never changes.”
Clubs Meeting Virtually
Where there is a will, there is a way: As an example, Xavier had 11 students compete in early December at the all-virtual Yale Model Congress, which normally would be held on then Ivy League school’s campus. “It‘s a whole new experience,” social studies teacher and club moderator Jim Royce ‘99 said. “It’s a good example of how, even when we face the challenges we are right now, that Xavier is pushing forward and trying to give the best experience possible to students that makes us who we are.” The Xavier robotics team also has been meeting virtually.
Masses Are Livestreamed
The most sacred: Xavier Masses, which occur at least once a month, have been livestreamed into classrooms when the students have been in school or on a YouTube video if they’re learning from home. On Dec. 3, we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, our school’s patron saint. On that day Guidance Counselor Beth Pattavina was given the prestigious Ryken Award, which goes to a faculty or staff member who by their commitment and dedication lives the mission of the Xaverian charism of education. “We always try to united ourselves spiritually whether we are physically together or not, and Mass is the most important thing we do as Catholics so Masses go on and we offer them virtually,” Lyons said.
Prayer Service Videos
Preparing hearts: Each day when school is in session during Advent season there is a brief prayer service for students. Under virtual learning these are emailed to parents and students with a link to a video recorded in the Xavier chapel. There also is a script to follow if you'd like to pray around the dinner table, for instance. In addition, the meaning behind Advent, provided by Campus Ministry Director Peter Lyons, was emailed to students, parents, faculty and staff. “Advent is an important time of year, so we want to remind our families to prepare their ‘virtual houses’ for the coming of the Christ-child and ultimately the second coming of Christ,” Lyons said.
Sports: Virtual Meetings, Real Results
A little of this, a little of that, and a lot of success: In a challenging fall season due to COVID, Xavier was able to win SCC titles in cross country and soccer. Football participated in 7-on-7 passing games. To get ready for the season Xavier held meetings with parents virtually. Because limited fans could attend games, many events were livestreamed.
The Show Must Go On: Virtual Fine Arts Extravaganza
A holiday gift: Shortly before Christmas, the Xavier Fine Arts Department presented “The Xavier Virtual Fine Arts Christmas Show,” a summation of students’ achievements this semester. Throughout the presentation, there was student art work from Ms. Jessy Stanavage’s various Art classes, short performance clips from Ms. Tracy Costa’s Performing Arts class, commercials created by Mr. Paul Kieda’s Multimedia class, and images from Mr. Bill Braychak's Photography Club. Tying it together was Mr. Erik Elligers and our Xavier musicians performing several holiday pieces. The program was hosted by students from Xavier TV. Click here for the show.