eLearning Days coming in January 2020!

December 12, 2019

We will now be able to use an eLearning Day when school is closed allowing us to count that day as a day of attendance.

December, 2019

Dear Maroa-Forsyth School District Parents & Families,


I am excited to announce that the Maroa-Forysth Schools will launch an innovative approach to dealing with inclement weather and emergency days upon our return to school in January 2020. Recent legislation has created flexibility in the definition of an "instructional day" here at school. In the past, if school had to close for any reason, that "instructional day" was tacked on to the end of the school year. We are now able to use an eLearning Day when school is closed allowing us to count that day as a day of attendance.

eLearning is the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and anywhere which will be utilized mainly in grades 6-12. eLearning is also possible when teachers prepare instructional lessons in advance for students to do while at home which will be mainly utilized in grades K-5. Teachers will keep business hours during scheduled eLearning days to help with questions and concerns via e-mail. You will be receiving a more detailed explanation of the expectations for eLearning Days from your Building Principal and the Teachers. Please know the kind of learning that will happen during an eLearning Day will be designed with the intent of the student leading the learning with limited adult intervention.

There are a variety of reasons we are wanting to try this approach. First and foremost, we think this will be a great experience for our students to know what it is like to learn remotely while staying connected to fellow students and their teachers. This is becoming the way of the world now in many cases so what great preparation for their future. Also, when we have to extend the school year it often caused problems with testing schedules, graduation ceremonies, and other end of year events. Further, parents often reported a disruption to their post school year activities and schedules. While we are excited to implement the eLearning plan, we also know there will be a lot of things to learn the first time we do this and will adjust accordingly based on feedback. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience! For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Sincerely,

Dr. John Ahleyemer

Superintendent of Schools

FAQ - eLearning Days

What is an eLearning Day?

An eLearning Day approach allows us to provide an "instructional day" even if our buildings are not open due to weather. If weather does not permit us to be in session, we will deploy an eLearning Day. On these days, teachers and administrators will e-mail and post assignments, lessons, and enrichment activities to parents and students by 9am. Teachers will be available via e-mail to answer questions as they arise.

Won't this look different at each grade level?

Each grade level of teachers will be collaborating on any eLearning Day to collectively develop experiences that are grade level appropriate and ideally a continuation of what has been happening in the classroom. Examples could include a review of content in social studies, a reinforcement activity in math, a video introduction of a unit, or a spelling or writing prompt. At higher grade levels, many of our students are already engaged in digital platforms for classes utilizing google classroom. In these cases, teachers will simply assign experiences as though the student were in attendance. For the lower grades, take home learning packets will be made available in advance for students to have these materials at home already.

Will students that cannot complete the work be penalized?

Absolutely not! We understand that internet access may not be available to everyone, and that some students may not be able to complete all tasks assigned by instructors. We also want to be clear that not all activities will need the internet to be completed. These days are meant to enhance learning and be formative in nature. Any activity that is assigned during an eLearning Day will not be directly tied to a grade upon return to school. That being said, it is possible that homework will be assigned in anticipation of a snow day by our instructors. Our teachers will allow students to "catch up" if needed upon our return to school just like a normal student absence is handled.

Will this be our policy moving forward?

The short answer is that we hope that it is. However, we realize that this is a new and innovative idea that we will be analyzing and assessing along the way. We reserve the right to pull the plug if necessary. That being said, our staff is excited to innovate and lead the way toward what we believe will be a trend in public education moving forward.


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