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Helping Students Stay Connected on a Digital Campus

Helping Students Stay Connected on a Digital Campus

When English teacher Mrs. Jessica (Dick) LaBrie '09 walks into her classroom each day, she’s focused not just on the students in front of her, but also on the students participating via Live Remote Instruction from home.

As a result, she’s expanded her teaching methods to include new tools that empower her students to connect, learn, and stay organized – whether at home or in the physical classroom – keeping them engaged in new and innovative ways.

She dedicated her summer to researching, developing, and practicing new methods so her students can remain digitally organized and keep communication open between cohorts while learning in our Hybrid Live Instruction model.

With one cohort on campus and the other at home, it’s more important than ever to keep students connected academically and socially.

The Padlet Program

padlet logo

To support this process, Jessica implemented the Padlet program – a web app that lets users post notes on a digital wall. Every day students are asked to post two topics and respond to two of their classmates’ posts so they can talk about the assignments, point out key quotes, or ask any questions, while engaging in academic conversations with their peers. 

“The discussions have been going well, and students appreciate being able to type out and edit their thoughts before they submit,” she noted. “This also serves as a reference place for them, so when it is time for a test they can come back and review the Padlet for that story or pull a quote from it for their essays. Students have appreciated getting the chance to converse with their peers whether they are in person or at home for the day.”

Jessica LaBrie teaching in classroom

Digital Notebooks

She is also focusing on keeping students digitally organized with Digital Notebooks – a unique tool she developed. Students can complete sticky note annotations, take notes, and link to any of the activities they did in class.

Book cover: The Kite Runner

Students share this notebook with her so she can see what each student is working on and provide feedback. Digital notebooks are also beneficial come test time, since students can reference information in one location. 

“My sophomores are reading The Kite Runner right now, which is a longer novel that we will spend time on with many different daily activities. By creating this digital notebook with them, it will hold everything they need for The Kite Runner in one place.”

Additionally, Jessica - who is working towards becoming a certified Google Educator - created a step-by-step daily lesson plan detailing what the class is doing each day and includes links to materials and activities. 


Professional Development Over the Summer

Preparing to teach in three separate learning models is a significant undertaking – one that was embraced by the CCHS faculty as they delved into a multitude of professional development opportunities to ensure that they were equipped to teach in any environment. 

Two weeks over the summer, CCHS offered faculty more than 10 different workshops designed to help prepare them to deliver education in all three possible learning models – On Campus, Hybrid Live Instruction, and Remote Live Instruction.

Professional development included different technology tools to support student engagement, collecting assignments, and assessing communication. 

Workshops included:

  • 3-2-1 Action! Using Flipgrid for Assessments & Exit Tickets
  • Assignment Collection, Feedback & Maintaining Academic Integrity
  • Creating Assessments in a Synchronous Hybrid Environment  
  • Our Learning Management System & Class Web Pages - Setting Up Class Pages & Diving into Additional Features
  • Using Google Classroom for Assignment Collections and Assessments
  • Engaging all students in a Synchronous Hybrid & Remote Learning Environment
  • Using Kahoot! Assessment Tool for all Learning Models
  • Using Notability as a Teaching & Learning Tool



Professional Development

Thank you to the entire CCHS Faculty, Staff, and Administration for their commitment to meeting the needs of our students!

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.