Published on June 19, 2020

Sanctuary Transitions to Online Options for Continued Learning

Spring making video on the beach_750 x 500

Among the many heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic are teachers who almost overnight had to transform classrooms into virtual sessions or send lessons home via email.

For Wellfleet Bay's educators, who typically are in schools from Harwich to Provincetown on a daily basis, the initial question has been how best to provide teachers the content and support they need most. Especially challenging—how to deliver an in-the-field experience through a two dimensional screen?

School programs coordinator Spring Beckhorn says efforts have focused on wrapping up programs that span the school year and usually feature at least one field experience.

That includes our shorebird migration program, which has been offered in the Truro first grade for more than 10 years. Spring recently completed a preview video about the wrack line, a critical source of food for Piping Plovers and their chicks. Videos are followed either by suggestions for supplemental activities and resources or, for older students, a broader online presentation.

"It's not the same as being out on the beach with the kids," Spring says, "but remote learning allows us to support teachers and continue to help students engage with the outdoors." 

Sanctuary Director Melissa Lowe says the understanding and support of the people and organizations that fund the sanctuary's school programs has been gratifying.

"We are so grateful to our Grant Funders who have agreed to support us as we quickly switch gears from providing hands-on science to new remote learning opportunities that can meet the needs of teachers and students while understanding that each home has a different situation."