Knox Community Schools implementing e-learning days

NOW: Knox Community Schools implementing e-learning days

KNOX, Ind. - Snow days could soon be a thing of the past at Knox Community Schools. The district plans to implement e-learning days instead.

With classes beginning next week, a spokesman sat down exclusively with ABC 57’s Jess Arnold to explain the new program.

When weather keeps Knox students from their classrooms this year, they won’t be off the hook for homework.

“We are going to implement e-learning simply for days of inclement weather, so if school is cancelled, our students’ learning is going to continue through the weather,” said Peggy Shidaker, Curriculum Director for Knox Community Schools.

The state established the e-learning day program back in 2014, but this is the first year Knox Community Schools is signing up.

“Bad weather moves in, we can’t come to school, the Knox officials will call an e-learning day, and the students, from their home, will log onto our learning management system… Our teachers will make sure all the learnings and the expectations are posted by 9 a.m., and the students will work on those activities from home or wherever they may be,” said Shidaker.

“Honestly, I believe it is an excellent idea, because normally on snow days back in the old times, you would just sit back at home, watch TV, and you wouldn’t get anything accomplished. With these e-learning days, we’re actually going to be able to speak with our teachers online,” said Knox High School junior, Andrew VanAsdall.

First, the district had to apply to the state Department of Education, meeting a series of criteria:

  • Internet access: 96% of polled parents said they had it.
  • Teachers’ availability online to students: they will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

But, there’s a cap on consecutive e-learning days.

“If for some reason we have inclement weather for more than two consecutive days, those days will not be e-learning days. After two consecutive days of inclement weather, we are going to make up those days at the end of the school year,” said Shidaker.

VanAsdall thinks e-learning’s a win-win.

“Being able to take away those days that we would have to add on is really beneficial to me, because I get more summer, and so do our teachers,” he said.

The school says don’t worry if your student doesn't have internet access, they'll have at least two days to make up the work.

September 1 will be a test run in which the district will call an e-learning day, and students will have to pull out the laptops the school provides to complete their assignments from home.

Parents can learn the ropes, too, on back to school night, which is August 2.

School begins on August 3.

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