E-Learning Q & A
e-Learning Days (Chisholm Policy 602)
In the event of a school closure due to inclement weather, learning expectations for all students continue through an eLearning day. This day refers to a school day where, instead of coming to a school, teachers and students communicate online or set up prior learning expectations, and students continue their learning from home. On an eLearning day, teachers will share assignments and hold office hours in which they are available to provide learning support to students. An eLearning day serves as a student contact day. The eLearning day plan is built upon the best practices of work already occurring in school districts across Minnesota, while adhering to Minnesota Statutes.
MN State Statute 120A.41
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) e-Learning days statute outlines how Minnesota school districts can implement these instructional days. According to the statute:
Definition: e-Learning day means a school day where a school offers full access to online instruction provided by students' individual teachers due to inclement weather.
Each student's teacher must be accessible both online and by telephone during normal school hours on an e-learning day to assist students and parents.
Notify parents and students at least two hours prior to the normal school start time that students need to follow the e-learning day plan for that day.
Notify parents and students of the e-Learning day plan at the beginning of the school year.
Accommodations for students without sufficient access to the Internet, hardware or software in their homes. (School administration, teachers, and other staff continually work with families to ensure equitable access to online learning resources including distributing “hot spots” or alternative resources if possible.)
How will an eLearning Day be communicated to parents/guardians and students?
Parents/Guardians will receive an automated phone call via instant alert and text message through ThrillShare and announcements will be made on local radio stations and local television stations, prior to 6:00a.m. on the day that school will be closed. Students should not report to school but should engage in eLearning activities as assigned.
How will teachers communicate eLearning instructions and expectations?
Teachers will communicate eLearning expectations by 8:00a.m. These instructions will be communicated through email or Schoology as applicable by grade-level. These will include accessible digital instruction for students with disabilities under chapter 125A and meet the needs of each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)/504 plans.
Teachers are expected to communicate general eLearning expectations to students and families at the beginning of the school year.
When will teachers be available?
Teachers will communicate with parents/guardians regarding how students can get help (or ask questions) about their e-Learning day assignments. Teachers will be available to assist students and parents during normal school hours by phone, email, or virtual office hours. Virtual office hours will be set up by the teacher and will be available on the Conferences App in Schoology or Webex. The only time staff are not available is during their 30 minute lunchtime. Specialists will also be available via phone or email for support. All licensed staff are required to work on an e-Learning day or take personal or sick leave as appropriate, subject to supervisor approval.
What are students expected to do in order to participate in an eLearning Day?
Students are expected to spend 2-3 hours of active learning and to complete assignments within 2 days of the eLearning day. This allows for those who need modifications or adjustments due to individual circumstances the ability to complete requirements.
Is attendance taken for an e-Learning Day?
K-3 Attendance - Attendance is mandatory. Students will be marked present by completing the assigned work provided by the teacher. Students who do not participate in planned activities are considered absent. Students have 2 days to complete their eLearning Day assignments.
4-6 Attendance - Attendance is mandatory. Students will be marked present if they check-in with their teacher by 8:45a.m. on Schoology, by email, or by phone. Students that do not check-in with their homeroom teacher by 8:45a.m. will be marked absent until they complete the assigned learning assignments for that e-learning day. Students have 2 days to complete their eLearning Day assignments.
7-12 Attendance - Students will be marked present by completing the assigned learning options. Attendance must be verified for each class. Students who do not participate in planned activities are considered absent for those class(es) and are reported as absent just as if they were not present for an on-campus class.
Can families choose to opt out of e-Learning days?
Students whose family chooses not to participate in the e-Learning day are reported as absent. Absence reasons that fall under current policy as excused will be marked as excused (Policy 503 Attendance Procedure). All other absences will be considered unexcused unless the student completes the eLearning assignments within 2 days. If there are extenuating circumstances, the principal may review the absence.
How will students be expected to “make-up” their learning if not in attendance?
Students will be responsible for completing the required work on their own as they would in any situation in which they may have been absent from school. Students will have 2 days to complete eLearning assignments.
What if the Governor cancels schools across MN on an e-Learning Day?
If the Governor cancels school statewide, there will not be an e-Learning day, and teaching staff will not report to work.
Is technology required for e-Learning days?
In grades k-3, teachers will be sending work home to be completed on e-learning days. This may be in the form of a packet or choice board. Students will be required to return their completed work to their teacher once they return to school. Teachers will also be posting messages, updates, materials, and expectations on Schoology. Parents will be able to view course updates, messages, and/or materials in Schoology.
For grades 4-6, teachers will utilize our current online platform Schoology to take attendance, deliver instruction via the “Conferences App” in Schoology, provide directions, and/or assign assignments, as Schoology is a secure learning network for teachers, students, and schools. Schoology provides a safe way to connect, share content, access classrooms, participate in discussions, and receive important class information or announcements. On an e-Learning day, teachers will share assignments and hold office hours in which they are available to provide learning support to students. However, if a student does not have a school issued Chromebook or a family has indicated they do not have access to the internet from their residence, accommodations will be made in order for students to submit the required assignments and meet the attendance expectations.
In grades 7-12, on an e-Learning day, teachers will share assignments, materials, and expectations on Schoology, and they will hold office hours in which they are available to provide learning support to students. Virtual office hours will be held using Webex or Conferences in Schoology. Teachers will also be available via email or messaging on Schoology. If a family has indicated they do not have access to the internet from their residence, accommodations will be made in order for students to submit the required assignments and meet the attendance expectations.
Students have 2 days to complete their eLearning Day assignments.
What are the expectations for Preschool?
Preschoolers will not be required to complete any activities on an e-Learning day.
How will the e-Learning day affect activities?
In general, when school is closed, all activities are canceled.