Starting Our Fall Seamlessly
It’s been an interesting road to get here, but I am happy to report that Quest Forward Academy Omaha is back in full swing. Classes are underway and student engagement is high. Everyone seems to be in good spirits and happy to be starting school together again, even though it’s in a slightly different way.
Students are doing a fantastic job embracing and adhering to the new safety procedures. Everyone is wearing masks consistently, sanitizing, and generally showing a lot of pride and responsibility in their school community, and we are proud of them.
Most students are in person in our classrooms. But those students that are working from their homes are not at all left out. Quest Forward Academy’s approach for this fall — and beyond — is called Seamless Learning. Seamless Learning ensures that no matter the location of our students, everyone benefits from the same learning experience. So, families are free to choose the best fit for them — in classroom or distance learning from home — without worry. Students and mentors can see, hear, and interact with each other. Remote students are learning and fully participating in class discussions, small group work, and fun school activities through technology.
Everyone is genuinely happy to be back together again. The laughter and thoughtful discussions are music to our faculty’s ears.
I asked Jen Dalbey, one of our mentors, to share her perspective on the start of this unique school year. She responded, “With the plethora of changes to our world and all of turmoil we each find ourselves in daily, the normalcy of a school day has been truly a blessing, for parents, students, and mentors alike. Though the normal has each of us in masks, and spreading six feet apart, talking loudly to find our voice; the collaborative space we exist in at Quest Forward Academy provided a welcome reunion to many students. Students have adapted to create groups mixing both virtual and in-person students, allowing the sharing of ideas with the safety of home for those who want or need it. Change management is a difficult but important skill. This time in our lives challenges seasoned veterans, let alone students. The navigation and mastering of this skill will serve them well in the future.”
Things are different this year, although also very much the same. We are looking forward to watch students continue to grow in academics, habits, and skills. It will be exciting to see the resiliency of our students as they confront challenges and opportunities that lie ahead this year.
Mark Smith is the founding Director of Quest Forward Academy Omaha. With advanced degrees in Education School Administration and previous experience in the Omaha School District, Mark wears many hats. He enjoys the opportunity to see students grow and transform through Quest Forward Learning.