eLearning Day Information

South Madison Community School Corporation
eLearning Day Information  2019-2020

Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) embraced teaching and learning outside of the traditional classroom, eLearning Days, in 2011.  eLearning Days enable students to learn anytime and anywhere.  Districts may apply to use eLearning days for a range of organizational purposes, such as inclement weather or professional development.  While there are many reasons for conducting an eLearning day, the primary benefits are that students have the opportunity to learn in a blended environment that has been curated by their teacher, that learning can seamlessly continue, and that it promotes skills that are reflective of real-world learning.  

South Madison Community School Corporation has recently met the criteria and was approved by IDOE to provide eLearning Days for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers will create standards-based lessons with a range of learning resources that permit students to continue learning on inclement weather days. 

General guidelines for eLearning days:

  • If an eLearning day is utilized for an inclement weather day, the eLearning day will be the same day as the inclement weather day.

  • Teachers will post or share assignments with students by 9:00 A.M. on a cancellation day.  If school is delayed first then cancelled, teachers will have lessons available by 10:00 A.M.

  • Prior to the first eLearning day, each teacher will provide students with information on the method of contact.  Beyond information to your child, parents may learn teachers preferences for communicating through typical communication methods, such as elementary classroom newsletters. Teachers will be available to support students during the elearning day and respond in a timely manner.  Communication may be through Canvas, email, texting, or other commonly used communication methods used in class.

  • While the teacher is the first contact for help, tech support and eCoachs will be available for technical issues and the admin team will be available through normal communication channels.  In addition to personal support, please utilize the various support resources, including how-to videos on the district website, such as the district YouTube tutorials.

  • All assignments will be due within two (2) days of inclement weather day.

  • District protocols have been established to help provide appropriate workload for students as compared to a typical school day.  If concerns arise, please contact your child’s teacher or building administrator.

  • The district will hold no more than two (2) eLearning days in a row.  Beyond the second day subsequent days will be made up on either a schedule snow make-up day or at the end of the school year.

The district has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address questions and concerns parents might have. 

eLearning

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is eLearning?
Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) established eLearning days in 2011 for organizational purposes and expanded the program in include inclement weather days in 2014 as a response to schools who had the ability to provide high-quality instruction digitally.  Provided that the district meets several assurances, the IDOE will grant the school the ability to provide instruction to students virtually and to count the day as a regular school day. According to IDOE, eLearning is teaching and learning outside of the traditional classroom. eLearning enables students to learn anytime and anywhere. eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. 
 
South Madison students, based on age appropriate learning, use Chromebooks and/or iPads in school and for homework on a regular basis. At South Madison, teachers will design lessons that provide an age-appropriate balance of digital, print, and activity based lessons for eLearning days.


Why have eLearning days?
As a society, technology has been embraced in all aspects of our lives. South Madison Board of School Trustees, administration, and teachers understand that we cannot ignore the importance of schools blending technology skills into the learning process.  Each student must have the ability to use technology responsibly and efficiently to expand his/her own learning. South Madison Community School Corporation envisions students as effective communicators who acquire the skills for critical and creative thinking and who will be able to work successfully in collaborative settings. A blended learning environment that integrates technology has the power to foster these skills by enhancing and personalizing the learning experience. Differentiation through technology expands the instructional repertoire and provides the potential to maximize the capacity of all teachers and learners, thus preparing students for the challenges of a global society. eLearning days are simply one means of supporting students’ learning. 
 
Beyond this, a goal of school is to prepare students for their future. According to a 2013 study, 45% of college students take at least one online course and 70% of college students surveyed used devices to do research and complete coursework for face-to-face courses.  Employers feel that 35% of new hires do not have adequate computer skills to provide efficient productive work, based on a 2013 Indianapolis Recorder report. Many corporations use eLearning for training purposes, require online applications, and expect employees to communicate, collaborate, and create digitally. 


What are the dates for the 2019-2020 school year?
eLearning days may be used when school is closed due to inclement weather, for professional development, or a myriad of valid opportunities.  At this time, South Madison is preparing for the use of eLearning days for inclement weather.  The administration will determine if the closure will utilize a snow make-up day or be an eLearning day.  Please hold the snow days on the district calendar open as they may be used for make-up days, pending weather. 


How will students and parents be notified if an eLearning day will be used? 
Families will be notified of eLearning days in the same manner as they are notified of school delays and closings.  This includes email and phone messages through the automated system, radio, and television. Please check to make sure your contact information is correct in PowerSchool.
 

What will it look like for students?
Student work will parallel classroom instructional strategies.  Lessons may be digital, print, or projects. Tools used would be those familiar to students.  Example of resources might be Google Doc, Spelling City, digital textbook, chapter book, or any other learning resource that is typically used by the students. 
 
Assignments will be shared using commonly used tools such as Canvas, Google Classroom, PowerSchool, or Seesaw.  Secondary teachers will post an assignment in Canvas and use tools and strategies common to their instruction.  Elementary teachers will use tools and strategies common to their instruction and share with students and/or parents how assignments will be delivered on eLearning days.  The district is creating a common website for each elementary school so teachers to post their instructions in one location for parents.  These instructions may lead students to common tools such as Canvas or Google Classroom or may provide all of the details in a single document.  For elementary, assignments will include both online and offline to accommodate family needs. 
 
Assignments will not include strategies, programs, or apps that students are not familiar with or have not already used in class.  Teachers will work with students in class to make sure they are prepared for eLearning assignments. 
 
For students in K-2, parents will be provided easy access to learning expectations as designed by their child’s teacher.  Many K-2 activities will be hands-on learning experiences with common materials.  
 

How will attendance be taken?
Secondary students will demonstrate attendance by “liking” the class announcement in Canvas. Elementary students will demonstrate attendance through submission of their work. This submission will vary based on the work shared by the teacher.  
 
By providing a window of time (i.e. 2 day window), the district wishes to meet the individual needs of each family.  We understand that children may be at a grandparents or at child care on the inclement weather day or that a family may not have easy access to the internet at home.  For these reasons, student work can be turned in within the 2 days following the inclement weather day.  Thus providing time and internet access issues to be resolved.  Please know that your building administration will work with you on any specific concerns.

What if my child needs help with an assignment?
Teachers will be available to students through school email, text/phone, or when applicable Canvas or Google Classroom.  Teacher emails can be found on class syllabi, in Canvas, or classroom newsletters.  Teachers will have informed your child of the best way to contact them.  For most teachers, this will be email. 
 
In addition to your child’s teacher, the tech department and coaches will be available through elearningday@smcsc.com email for support.  Questions posed to this email should be technical in nature and not specifics about assignments.  Assignment questions should be addressed to the teacher. 
 
When will eLearning day assignments be posted?
Work for students will be posted by 9:00 A.M on Lthe eLearning day.  If a delay day were to turn into a cancelation, all assignments will be posted by 10:00 A.M.   Considerations will be given to students that need additional time due to unforeseen circumstances.  Please contact your teacher or building administration if unforeseen circumstances arise. 

What if we don’t have Internet access at our home?
We understand that not all students have access to a device and/or the Internet during the day due to individual situations, such as loss of Internet due to inclement weather, child day care, multiple students at home with a single device, parent availability during the work day, no Internet provider at home, etc.  Because of this, students will have two (2) additional school days to complete any assigned eLearning day task.
 
Additionally while some assignments may require Internet, there are several options for families without Internet access:
For some assignments, the required files can be downloaded while at school in advance.  Students in grades 5-12 without Internet at home should download their text as an ePub document and make sure they have offline access to Google files.  If a student needs assistance with this process, please reach out to your teacher or building tech.
For some assignments, the student may be able to do the work offline and upload their work at school when they return to school.
Parents may consider other options, like taking their child to the public library, local free public access, or taking their child to a family member or friend.  A list of free WiFi throughout the SMCSC community is available in each school office and on the district website.  On inclement weather days, we do not encourage any student to leave their home and travel.  Please remember we have provided the flexibility of submitting assignments two days following the eLearning day. 
Students will not be penalized if they cannot get Internet access, but they will be responsible for completing the work requiring the Internet while at school.
 
What if we have technology-related questions during the eLearning day?
If you are having technology-related issues, please feel free to contact the Technology Help Desk at elearningday@smcsc.com. 
 
What if my child is ill and cannot participate in the eLearning day?
If your child is ill and cannot participate, parents should follow regular call-in protocols.  Students are still responsible for completing the assignment. 
 
Will student in pre-k attend school?
Pre-k will be cancelled on weather closure eLearning days. Optional activities will be provided by the teacher. If snow make-up days are used, please follow traditional protocols. 
 
How will eLearning days impact after school activities?
On an eLearning day due to weather, after school activities will be treated the same as if school were closed. 
 
How much school work should my child be expected to do?
Students will be assigned work relevant to current instruction for each class or subject they have in a normal school day.  The district educators have established protocols to help provide appropriate workload for students as compared to a typical school day.  We do not want to overload our students with busy work.  If your child is struggling with the work due to time on task, understanding the assignment, or questioning how to complete the work, please contact your child’s teacher. 
 
By using current instruction and strategies implemented on a regular basis in the classroom, the goal is to continue the learning experience that helps meet educational standards for students.

How many eLearning days can we have in a row?
The maximum number of eLearning days we will have in a row is two (2). 
 
Will schools be open before or after school to help those students without Internet access?
The Media Center will be open one hour after school on the day following an eLearning day. It will also be open one hour before and after school on the second day following an eLearning day. Students can visit the public library, check out a hot spot from the public library, businesses with free Internet access, and our wireless bubble extends outside all of our school buildings. 
 
What considerations will be made for students with special needs?
For a student who requires special accommodations/services to meet his/her individual needs, teachers will work closely with the student and his/her family to ensure the assignments reflect expected learning objectives, as well as meet the student’s individual educational plan.  Your child’s special education teacher will be available for support.