DeKalb will use digital learning to make up snow days

DeKalb plans to make up two days lost to weather with online learning. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Credit: Elaine Thompson

Credit: Elaine Thompson

DeKalb plans to make up two days lost to weather with online learning. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

DeKalb County School District will permit its students to use online learning and assignments to make up two days lost to weather.

Most metro area school districts closed for four days in January due to ice and snow. DeKalb plans to hold class on two previously scheduled days off, Feb. 16 and March 9. A survey to decide how to make up the two other days endorsed virtual learning in which students work online on assignments and labs.

Other districts including Forsyth and Gwinnett have reported success using online learning on snow days. The practice is relatively new so there’s not a track record on whether digital learning equals a day spent in a classroom.

Here is the official release from DeKalb:

Following feedback from its stakeholders, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will employ Virtual Learning Days using its Digital Dreamers technology to make up time lost in January to inclement weather.

“With our Digital Dreamers initiative, DCSD is able to be increasingly innovative in extending the classroom outside the walls of the schoolhouse. This is a new level of instruction and use of inclement weather days, as we’re melding our cutting-edge technology with lessons that can be taught and absorbed anywhere,” said Superintendent/CEO R. Stephen Green. “We are able to make up precious teaching and learning time without sacrificing rigor. We are excited about this new frontier and what it means for increasing student achievement.”

More than 21,075 students, teachers, staff and stakeholders participated in an inclement weather survey that outlined options for making up two days of instruction. Of the respondents, approximately 63 percent selected virtual learning as the preferred option.

With virtual learning, teachers will provide students with a virtual assignment that is content-specific and relevant.

Virtual learning access will be made available to students over two weeks – Feb. 27 through March 6; and March 8 through March 15. Students will have five school days plus a weekend to complete their assignments.

Assignments may involve reading, writing, conducting research, performing mini labs, completing practice problems, taking notes, and/or answering questions. Students will be given one week to complete and submit the virtual assignment.

Parents will receive assignments from their child’s teacher the week of February 20. Parents are also encouraged to contact their respective schools during the two virtual learning weeks.

This approach will allow the district to make up two lost inclement weather days. Students will make up the other two days with schools open on Feb. 16 and March 9.

DCSD’s Virtual Learning effort is grounded in its blossoming Digital Dreamers initiative, which will help assure students do not miss the instructional hours lost to inclement weather. Not only will students have the necessary classroom to support achievement, they will also have the tools to access it.