With the ongoing pandemic and the ­rapid increase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines, Makati Hope Christian School (MHCS) is adapting a new normal classroom set up that is designed to be student-friendly at the comfort of homes. “We made a lot of preparations for the upcoming online classes,” explained Mr. Dino Paolo Cortes, high school academic head and a Google-certified educator and trainer. “We conducted an evaluation of what happened in the last school year so that we could improve on what we have done. We asked for feedback from students and teachers to get their suggestions on what to improve on for our learning distance options. Based on the feedback, we developed a new structure to online instruction with the synchronous and asynchronous classes.” In the MHCS Online Distance Learning (ODL) Primer, the school is conducting both ­synchronous classes and ­asynchronous classes using the Google Classroom and other applications. Based on the ODL ­Primer, synchronous classes are online classes where both the teacher and the students are in a virtual classroom where lessons are delivered in real-time. ­Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, is a form of ­learning where students are ­provided with ­recorded lessons and ­activities that can be accessed within the flexible time frame. To further improve its ­curriculum, MHCS conducted a series of training workshops and seminars including simulated live classes and dry runs. “We considered a lot of things while planning for distance learning,” Mr. Cortes explained. “Since we had initial implementation last school year, we already have things to improve on. For example, we used our Google Classrooms to send information to students and parents. We also ­considered the tasks that the students would need to submit and asked ­teachers to make videos of them teaching the content so that the competencies are achieved after learning tasks.” It can be remembered that MHCS has implemented a ­similar online class setting during the fourth quarter of SY 2019-2020 when President Rod­rigo Duterete placed Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). “MHCS implemented online education earlier than most of the other schools in the Philippines,” Mr. Cortes shared. He stated that this situation has helped the school administration to enhance the online learning experience of its students and that everyone will be able to experience a better version of the MHCS flexible ­learning options. “We are ready for SY 2020-2021,” Mr. Cortes expressed. MHCS has opened its classes on August 17 for Grades 2 to 12 while nursery to Grade 1 levels started on August 24. Story by Faith Angeline Ongaria (Candle Pen) Head on to Candle Pen Online for more stories: