Little Flower High School, 10th and Lycoming streets, celebrated Unity Day last week as a full academic year of hybrid learning begins to wind down.
School administrators promoted the principles of Social Emotional Learning Theory to support students during the hybrid learning model, with some classes in person and others virtual.
“No learning happens unless everybody feels really safe and secure,” said school president Jeane McNamara.
The effort began in the fall with “Supporting our Sisters” virtual sessions, which led to Unity Day deep dives in the following areas: Words Matter, Challenging Bias and Barriers and Understanding Microaggressions.
Junior Jacqueline Forsythe said words matter, that people can take the meaning of a comment in different ways.
“It’s important to think before you speak,” she said.
Due to hybrid learning, Unity Day took place on April 13-14 and will return for two more days in mid-May.
Unity Day discussions are meant to provide for better communication and elevated expectations. The days also included a prayer service, music by Bill Monaghan and student and teacher karaoke.
“It’s a time for us to come together,” said junior Nicole Orbe-Munoz, citing the emotional stress of the coronavirus.
“We get a chance to vocalize our opinions about everything that’s happened over the last year and hopefully have a better year next year,” said junior Emily Torres.
Fox 29 personality Bob Kelly, a graduate of Little Flower’s former brother school, the since-closed North Catholic, was at LF to bring his Kelly’s Classroom feature to the Good Day Philadelphia audience.
Theology teacher Angelica Corridoni and social studies teacher Jim Elliott were in a classroom with 12 students, along with others learning via Zoom.
McNamara said Unity Day might have been free of reading, writing and arithmetic, but the girls learned about “connecting with the kid in front of you or on Zoom.” She said the school plans to welcome girls from Hallahan, Bishop McDevitt and St. Basil — all of which are closing in June — to the “sisterhood” in September. ••