Digital Learning Days
We are very excited to announce that Heyworth School District is planning to pilot “digital learning days”, which is an innovative approach to dealing with inclement weather and emergency days. Public Act 100-0465 was signed into law on August 31st, 2017 and is linked HERE. This act made sweeping changes to education funding in Illinois, but also created flexibility in the definition of an “instructional day.” A memo outlining more background can be found HERE.
In the past, if a snow day were called, that “instructional day” was tacked on to the end of the school year. This extended the school year and often caused problems with scheduling conflicts such as AP testing, graduation ceremonies, and other end of year events. We believe that a “digital learning day” integrated during the year could be more effective than an additional day at the end of the year. This will also allow us to definitively schedule the last day of school.
How will a Digital Learning Day work??
On these days, teachers will post assignments, lessons, and enrichment activities to parents and students by 9 am on the district website at www.husd4.org. Teachers will be available via e-mail to answer questions as they arise.
What will the assignments look like?
All teachers will develop experiences that are grade level appropriate and ideally a continuation of what has been happening in the classroom. Many of our students are already engaged in digital platforms for classes utilizing google classroom. In these cases, teachers will simply assign experiences as though the student were in attendance.
Will students that cannot complete the work be penalized?
Absolutely not! We understand that internet access may not be available to everyone, and that some students may not be able to complete all tasks assigned by instructors. We also want to be clear that not all activities will need the internet to be completed. Any activity that is assigned during a digital learning day will not be directly tied to a grade upon return to school. That being said, it is possible that homework will be assigned in anticipation a snow day by our instructors. Our teachers will allow students to “catch up” if needed upon our return to school.
Will this be our policy moving forward?
The short answer is that we hope that it is. However, we realize that this is new, and we will be determining what works best for us. We reserve the right to discontinue this practice if necessary. That being said, we are excited about this pilot and the new flexibility provided with the changes in legislation.