As winter weather sets in, Westfield Washington Schools students are getting a taste of what eLearning is all about.
Students already experienced their first eLearning day Nov. 15, 2018, and may experience more as the winter months progress. eLearning is a new strategy implemented by WWS for students to receive schoolwork assignments to complete even when school has been canceled for the day.
However, the days of spending hours sledding when school is canceled may not be gone. Students in grades K through 6 have a two-week window to complete the assignments given on an eLearning days. Students in grades 7 through 12 have a two-day window to complete assignments.
Cognizant that not all students have access to home Wi-Fi, WWS also has implemented Westfield Rocks Partners – local businesses or organizations around the city that allow kids to complete eLearning assignments using the business’ internet access.
However, some have raised concerns that if roads are bad enough to cancel school, how will students travel to the Westfield Rocks Partners for their assignments?
“Seventh to 12th-grade students had the make-up the day of the cancellation, but they also get two extra days to complete the work, so they can attend lab hours at school or visit a Wi-Fi partner,” stated Lynn Schemel, WWS’s director of organizational systems, assessment and analysis. “There are also times when school is cancelled in the morning, but roads clear up for travel in the afternoon, so they could also go the day of weather, conditions-permitting.”
eLearning isn’t just for canceled school days. It’s part of WWS’ district-wide initiative to utilize technological tools through devices on mobile carts within the schools, or with students bringing their own device. eLearning also helps avoid tacking on extra school days at the end of the school year when parents have planned family vacations.
“Some reasons (for eLearning) include not adding on days to the end of the year when ‘school is over,’ more timely work while the learning of the content is happening, continual learning, more learning prior to ILEARN/ISTEP/AP exams, keeping trimesters and quarters balanced, utilizing tech tools, strategies, devices, 21st-century skills,” Schemel said. “In addition, feedback was provided encouraging eLearning from stakeholders during focus groups, committees and coffee talks.”
WWS will still use the two flex days built into the school calendar if another school cancelation is required. In the event of a fourth or fifth cancelation, eLearning will be implemented for that day. A sixth or more cancelation be added on at the end of the school year.
Westfield Rocks Partners include Barnes & Noble; WKRP Indy Real Estate; Westfield Washington Public Library; Tradewinds; Greek’s Pizza; Grand Junction Brewing Co.; Chick-fil-a; Grand Style Station; Titus Bakery & Deli; Grand Park Events Center; and the McDonald’s on Tournament Trail. They are identified by a window cling.
For more, visit wws.k12.in.us/Page/1505.