SACHS Moves to Head of the Class with Online Learning

SACHS Moves to Head of the Class with Online Learning
2019 Laptop Initiative Paying Big Dividends Sooner than Expected
San Antonio – DATE – In September of 2019, St. Anthony Catholic High School (SACHS) started the new year with a new initiative meant to move its students to the head of the high-tech class: a new laptop in each and every students’ hands. The move provided teachers and students more opportunity for one-on-one learning and, in many ways, extended the class day. The laptops were already proving to be beneficial in every way the school intended. Little did anyone know how fortuitous a decision the initiative would be. Eight months later, with schools scrambling to adapt to the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, laptops have gone from learning tool to learning lifeline, but SACHS is finding this new day to day life is not too different than before.
“What an unexpected blessing the laptop initiative has turned into,” says Dr. Kristina Vidaurri, principal at St. Anthony Catholic High School. “Our teachers got a chance to work directly with Microsoft over the summer and we have spent the entire school year utilizing this software and these tools. Then over the extended Spring Break, our teachers were at it again learning, training, and preparing for whatever the rest of the academic year holds.”
“I feel like we at SACHS are extremely blessed that all of our students have their own laptops and have been working in digital platforms since the beginning of the school year,” says Melissa Castillo, Geometry teacher. “Now we can take our learning to the next level.”
That next level includes being able to hold chapel, counseling, even workout sessions with athletes online and way ahead of schedule. However, taking it to the next level will come with hard work. Instructors are quick to point out that going online does not mean there will be more downtime.
“This is not a social chat room. Or a social skyped conversation. It’s professional online learning,” says Sheila Kizzart, English teacher. “There will be videos to watch, power points to read, questions to answer, prompt responses to write, art to create, experiments to perform, history to research, theology to analyze and P.E. to perform, all within their viewing areas.”
Castillo says, “The advice that I would give to students during this time of transition is to think positive and look at this as an opportunity to improve their technology skills. I would also remind them to pray and trust in Jesus.”
While it is unclear how long online classes will be mandated, SACHS teachers have prepared online lesson plans to last to the end of the school year. They say it is not just a matter of being prepared, it is a duty to do their best for the students they care for.
“Our online classes are still a full day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The teachers have continued to prepare quality lessons for each student,” adds Kizzart. “This is what parents are expecting, a quality education for their young adult, that is maintained through a crisis of several weeks or even longer. So, we begin this new and unchartered journey with wonderful support and prayers, and with divine guidance and blessings, we will all be successful. Don’t just finish… finish strong.”

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St. Anthony Catholic High school is a college-preparatory school for young men and women, grades 9 through 12. Established in 1903, SACHS prepares students for positions of responsibility and leadership through a college preparatory curriculum based on Catholic values and traditions. SACHS is proud to partner with the University of the Incarnate Word in the Brainpower Connection. The program provides SACHS students with a faith-based pathway from high school through college and beyond. Find out more at
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