e-Learning Days Coming to District 56
I am happy to report that the District has been notified by the Illinois State Board of Education that we have been selected as one of three Illinois school districts to participate in an e-Learning day pilot program, and the Board of Education enthusiastically accepted that invitation on the evening of December 16, 2015.`
e-Learning days are designed to avoid interruptions in instruction that occur when school cannot be held due to severe weather conditions. They may also be used when a school must be closed due to "an act of God, or as occasioned by conditions outside the control of the school district which poses a hazardous threat to the health and safety of pupils". In our case, this would cover days when schools are required to be closed due to flooding. School districts participating in the program are not required to use e-Learning days nor do they have to exhaust all of their emergency days before using an e-Learning day. Any day approved as an e-Learning day may be counted as a day of attendance and would not be required to be "made up" at the end of the school year.
We are now planning for the implementation of e-Learning days with our staff. Once we have what we believe is a workable plan, we will involve the parent community as well. Soon, we will be placing information about e-Learning days on our website and encouraging you to interact with us about it through Let's Talk. Prior to the use of e-Learning days, we will practice an e-Learning day with our students and staff and conduct parent meetings at all four schools so that we can develop a partnership with you on this project. Regular “snow days” will be used until we are confident that our e-Learning Day plans are ready to go, been practiced with students, and parent information meetings are held.
Parents will not be expected to assume the role of the teacher. Our plan will ensure that all teachers will be available to assist students with their assignments during the hours of the regular school day. The assignments for e-Learning are designed to be engaging and sometimes fun and will allow students to learn while enjoying being at home during a snow day. Parents and students will be required to log and submit evidence of their learning experiences in order to receive attendance credit for the day. Further, if students were unable to participate during the e-Learning day, accommodations will be made to assist them in making up the missed work.
Our plan is to conduct e-Learning days through use of the students’ iPads. As a result, Internet connectivity would be a great asset for all students. If you currently do not have an Internet connection at home, please consider investing in one. If finances are an issue, Comcast (our local Internet provider) sponsors a subsidized Internet package for families who qualify for free and reduced lunch. More details can be found here.
The presentation delivered to the Board of Education on 12/16/2015 can be viewed here. (Links inside the presentation are not live at this time.) Please review our website and future communiques for more information on this topic. We are honored and excited to pilot this program and believe this will enhance the learning environment for our children