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Snow Days No Longer Interrupt School, Thanks to itslearning

school bus snowStudents and teachers in Forsyth County School District (Forsyth County, Ga.) no longer have to worry about making up snow days in the summer.

Why?

The county's Board of Education has recently announced that on days when students can’t make it to school due to inclement weather, they will continue their learning at home using itslearning.

Because of this, beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the Board stated there will be no inclement weather days built into the school calendar. (For the current school year, there are only two inclement weather days built into the calendar, which were approved back in 2013.)

Student Choice with Asynchronous Learning

Because students will be accessing learning materials through itslearning at their convenience, rather than receiving instruction at the same time as other students, they will be engaging in asynchronous learning.

With asynchronous learning, students can review materials and complete assignments at their own pace and place, creating a more personalized learning experience.

According to Forsyth County’s website, all school closures will be made up with asynchronous online learning.

And, although this is the first official announcement regarding online learning and inclement weather days, Forsyth County, which has been using itslearning for the past two years, successfully delivered online instruction using the platform during the 2013-14 school year, when severe snowstorms blew across Georgia.

In fact, in an interview with itslearning last February during such a school closure, Dr. Tim Clark, coordinator of instructional technology for Forsyth County Schools told us: “Many of our teachers are now using itslearning for the main delivery of instruction right now while everyone is stuck inside (even in the elementary grades).”

Power Outages and Access Issues

To accommodate for power outages, and to allow students to complete assignments on their own time, the district will allow students up to five days to complete assignments, states a Forsyth County News article. Students will also be required to interact with the system once a day to ensure they are engaged in the assignments.

In addition, for those students that do not have access to computers or the Internet at home, the district will provide portable Wi-Fi hotspots and devices to ensure that everyone has a chance to keep up with instruction.

Training and Practice Runs

Although many Forsyth County teachers already use blended learning with their students, the district is providing both teachers and students with an Online Learning for School Closure Practice Drill to ensure they are prepared when inclement weather hits.

Parents will also have the opportunity to attend Parent Training Classes for itslearning.

 

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Sarah wrote:
What is the protocol for students that just don't do it?

January 23, 2016 @ 8:17 AM

2. Heather Anderson wrote:
I am a K teacher in Forsyth County and this is the parody I wrote about our recent online learning day!

http://youtu.be/HuY79-eKbwY

January 23, 2016 @ 5:51 PM

3. Marie wrote:
@Sarah - Students are given five days to complete the assignment. When we return to school after the inclement weather, students that have not completed the lesson are permitted to access our classroom computers either before or after school. If there is any "down time" built into our day, students can jump on to a computer and get their work done. We recently had an inclement weather day and we had a 98% completion rate on my team. Students that just flat out refuse to complete the work are counted absent for the snow day and their grade is impacted by the missing assignment.

February 10, 2016 @ 9:40 PM

4. Leslie Ahern wrote:
@Marie Congratulations on your very successful inclement weather day! We at itslearning would love to hear more about it! Feel free to email me at Leslie.Ahern@itslearning.com

February 19, 2016 @ 9:14 AM

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