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When Snow Days Become Learning Days

Back in November 2014, we wrote about how students and teachers in Forsyth County School District no longer have to worry about making up snow days in the summer. That proposal became a reality this winter when a dangerous storm made road travel dangerous. Thankfully, the preparations made by the district in case of such a situation led to students being able to do schoolwork from home. 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has more in their article, "Online classes end snow days: Schools turning to virtual learning platforms when foul weather hits" by Janel Davis. Here is an excerpt -

  • "Forsyth County’s school system is going a step further, counting bad-weather virtual learning the same as a day in class, so students don’t have to make up snow days later.

    The system is in its second year of using the itslearning platform to offer a range of online classes and assignments on snow days.

    Many of Forsyth’s teachers use the platform throughout the year, so expanding the virtual learning to include snow days was a natural progression, Forsyth schools spokeswoman Jennifer Carracciolo said. Last year, itslearning was available to only middle and high schoolers. Elementary school students were added this school year.

    For students without Internet access, mobile devices or power when bad weather hits, Forsyth gives students five days to make up the work once the lesson is posted online. The system also provides some wifi hotspots to provide connectivity at home and allows students to borrow devices to take home.

    “We communicated with parents that we are training future employees, and many employees do a lot of their work online, so this is preparing them for that work,” Carracciolo said.

    Traditionally, school systems build extra days into their school-year calendar, to be used if schools are closed because of snow or other bad weather. Forsyth included and used two inclement weather days this year. None are included next year, as the system further improves its online learning system.

    “I’ve really appreciated it. Now we don’t have to worry about making up these days at the end of the year,” said Susan Farlow, whose eighth- and 10th-grade sons attend Forsyth schools.""

 

Read more at The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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