During the 2018-19 school year, snow or extreme cold weather led to six school days being canceled and two more starting late. Although two days were eventually made up, four of the cancelations happened in a single week, causing a significant disruption to learning.
“Severe weather like we had this year can lead to a real loss of momentum for students,” Assistant Superintendent Brian Gersich said. “With some planning and by making use of the technology we have in place, we think we can counteract that when it happens again.”
The plan approved by the Board of Education on June 13 calls for the creation of “Flexible Learning Days.” Under the plan, the first cancellation due to weather during a school year will remain a traditional cancellation. After that, Flexible Learning Days would kick in.
On a Flexible Learning Day, teachers, administrators and other licensed professionals will be available by email or Schoology from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. to answer questions, provide guidance or otherwise engage students.
- For grades 6-12, teachers will publish lessons by 9 a.m. using Schoology, the district’s online learning system, so students can access courses and complete assigned work.
- For grades PreK-5, students will complete portions of selected learning activities created and distributed in advance by their teachers.
Students, staff and parents will be asked for feedback if a Flexible Learning Day is called so the plan can be adjusted and improved going forward.
Gersich noted that avoiding canceled days will help maintain the integrity of the district’s overall academic calendar, avoiding shortened quarters and the need to add school days after the end of the year in June.