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Christ Episcopal School
A co-ed independent Episcopal School serving students in preschool - grade 8 in historic Rockville, MD

Virtual School

CES Virtual School

christ episcopal school students in rockville maryland conduct a virtual field trip to mount vernon during virtual school using google classroom
“I feel as though I’m able to have more time with my reading support groups since we have no interruptions (i.e. rehearsals, special events and activities)!”

- Trina Gandal, CES Learning Resource Specialist

CES concluded the 2019-2020 school year with virtual, online instruction that began Monday, March 16, 2020. During the 2020 summer, we provided CES Summer Academy, an extensive series of 1-hour virtual academic enrichment sessions in many subject areas. Visit CESummer! for details.

To learn about our Spring 2020 CES Virtual School, click on a division below to see how different grades provided outstanding teaching in a virtual setting:


Ages 2 - 4


Grades K - 4


Grades 5 - 8




To read and download a full outline of our Spring 2020 Virtual School prorgam click here.

Preschool (ages 2 - 4)

christ episcopal school preschool student creates art project during coronavirus virtual school
CES Preschool student Kennedy proudly finishes an art project provided by her teachers during virtual school.

Class schedules vary each week as we explore different ways to engage our classes within the virtual world. Preschool is such a social environment, so we are working on giving the children the best possible options for interaction. Classes meet in full three times a week and in small groups or individual sessions twice per week. These sessions provide the teachers time to focus on each individual child and allow them to teach math and language arts concepts more individually based on each student’s pace. They also provide teachers an opportunity to check in with parents, see how each family is doing and give advice on techniques that may be helpful during these trying times. 

In addition to the lessons that the teachers are planning, students also receive handmade cards and messages from their teachers, helping to maintain that critical social connection.

Preschool 2s (“The Turtles”):  Parents receive a daily newsletter full of activities and craft ideas centered around a book. The teachers have also created online books featuring the children in the class which they read together from time to time.

During Circle Time, the class:

  • Discusses the calendar and the weather
  • Reads and discusses a book together
  • Plays a game or an activity related to the book. For example the class read Llama Llama Mad at Mama which pertains to emotions. They then played a game identifying the emotions in drawings of people.
  • Participates in fun activities like yoga, singing favorite songs, etc.

Preschool 3s (“The Bears”): Each week, parents receive suggested activities for families to explore. These involve fine motor skills, gross motor skills, physical exercise, language arts, art projects, and the use of their imagination. They also incorporate links to age-appropriate online material, such as author Eric Carle reading his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other YouTube videos. 

During class meetings, the class:

  • Greets one another and says “Good morning!” to everyone
  • Sings our “good morning” song
  • Goes over the calendar and special days within the month (holidays, birthdays)
  • Talks about the theme of the month and any special activities going on like the Author of the Month Study
  • Participates in full class activities: show and tell, singing songs, listening to a story book, Letter of the Week
  • Attends special subjects: Library, Art, Music 

PreKindergarten (“The Bugs”): In addition to the regular class meetings, PreK meets weekly with specials: Music, Spanish, Library and P.E. Parents receive a weekly newsletter with events, activities, and online resources from Learning A-Z, Vooks, and Scholastic Books, and students receive a weekly work packet. 

CES PreKindergarten student Elisabeth meets with her class during their live Morning Meetings.

Teachers also provide recorded lessons for students and parents to view when their schedule permits:

  • Calendar
  • Math: Dimensions Math (from Singapore Math)
  • Writing skills using Handwriting Without Tears
  • Language arts and reading
  • Science activities and experiments
  • Finger plays and music
  • Art projects related to the theme of the week
  • Gross motor activities: Cosmic Yoga, Gonoodle, and Jim Hartman Music

Lower School (Kindergarten - 4th grade)

christ episcopal school lower school student stands proudly by her home classroom during coronavirus virtual school
CES 3rd grade student Amelia stands proudly in her home classroom during Virtual School.
She even has her schedule
posted on the wall behind her!

The CES Lower School offers virtual instruction to continue our rich curriculum Monday through Friday. Students and teachers interact daily during live sessions. Teachers post assignments and supporting resources online, and students complete tasks throughout the week.

The school day is from 8:30am-3:00pm. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays students are with their grade level teacher for their academic classes. During these sessions there are opportunities for class meetings with time to socialize, small group instruction for reading and math, student-led presentations, read alouds, math games and much more. Wednesdays - referred to as “Wonderful Wednesdays” - are for live PE classes and for students to choose when to login for their special subject are classes - Art, Library, Music, and Spanish. The 4th Grade also enjoys a live session for their Journalism class. 

Teachers remain accessible to students and parents through ongoing communication to maintain our strong family and school connections. As the teachers adjust to virtual teaching, they are learning about and incorporating new and creative techniques to keep learning fun and engaging.

Sample 1st Grade Schedule:
8:30am  Assignments and instructions for the day posted by teacher
9:00-9:30am Live morning meeting with full class
9:45-11:30am Reading with small group instruction
11:30am-12:30pm Lunch Break
1:00-1:40pm Math
Afternoon Teacher office hours


Middle School (grades 5 - 8)

Our goal in the Middle School has always been to engage and motivate students through live contact with all of their teachers and peers, while continuing to advance our curriculum. School is in session from 8:30am until 3:30pm, and we offer five live virtual classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (including specials). Wednesdays are called "Workday Wednesdays" and are used as one-on-one meeting time with teachers, collaborative working with peers on projects and quiet time to complete ongoing assignments. Since physical inactivity is a consequence of stay-at-home orders, we have also made PE a priority, including both synchronous and asynchronous instruction daily.  

Teachers are very accessible to students through daily live office hours where students may drop in for live assistance through Google Meet. Teachers have quickly adapted to the virtual format using new apps to encourage student interaction in live sessions and incorporating innovative teaching techniques that pull students away from the computer rather than tie them to it, taking advantage of both family and physical resources at home. We have incorporated both parent and student feedback to optimize our learning environment, while maintaining our strong community ties.

Sample Middle School Schedule:    

5th grade 6th grade 7th grade 8th garde
8:30-8:45am Check in/attendance  Check in/attendance  Check in/attendance  Check in/attendance
8:45-9:30am Homeroom English U.S. History Algebra
9:35-10:20am Spanish Math English Science
10:30-11:15am P.E. P.E. P.E. P.E.
11:30am-12:15pm Homeroom History Science English
Lunch Break
1:00-1:45pm Homeroom Science Pre-Algebra Civics
1:45-2:30pm Student work time Student work time Student work time Student work time
2:30-3:30pm Teacher office hours Teacher office hours Teacher office hours Teacher office hours

CES Middle School student Izzy practices yoga during her virtual PE class, showing us that
not all virtual learning happens on a screen!
CES Middle School Division Head Nicole Stone teaches remotely and collaborates with other faculty during Virtual School. CES Middle School student Wells checks in with his History teacher
during Virtual School.


Example: Fifth Grade
The fifth graders have been hard at work and doing an excellent job staying on top of their assignments. Here is what they covered during a week of virtual school:

  • Math: classifying types of quadrilaterals and triangles. Students are learning to apply the criteria for each type of polygon (angle measurements, side lengths, etc.) to draw conclusions about a specific figure's properties. At one point, they used an online geoboard to accurately create different quadrilaterals based on their descriptions alone.
  • English: fourth novel study, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The novel is based on the life of Salva Dut, one of the Sudanese Lost Boys who had to flee South Sudan on foot in
    christ episcopal school 5th grade teacher ms. pfanz conducting a virtual school science lesson from sligo creek
     CES 5th grade teacher Ms. Pfanz conducting a live virtual lesson at Sligo Creek for her science class.
    the 1980s and later founded the aid organization Water for South Sudan. (The current 8th grade class raised enough money to totally fund the construction of a well through this organization, which was completed earlier this year!) Students also continue to practice their grammar through the web program GrammarFlip, and are journaling or responding to creative writing prompts at least once a week.
  • Geography: Eastern Africa (where A Long Walk to Water takes place). Students are studying the physical geography and basic history of the region, with particular focus on the conflicts that impact events in the novel.
  • Science: draw and diagram a tree and its foliage near their home and pay particular attention to how that tree has changed. This goes along with their study of how types of plants take in and process energy. To compensate for not getting to do hands-on investigations, their teacher conducts a lesson from Sligo Creek near her home once a week when applicable.