In anticipation of bad weather and a difficult commute in the morning, we have decided to call for a Fully Remote Day on Wednesday, Jan. 27, for all grades K-12. We would typically wait to make this call until early tomorrow morning, but I would like to explain why we are making the call now.
First, because of the big snowstorm in December, we only have one true snow day left before cutting into spring break and end-of-year days. We think it is wise to save it for a blockbuster storm, an ice storm, or a potential power outage where even a Remote Day would be impossible.
Second, the Fully Remote Day is a new option made available to us by NYS this year. 2-hour delays are often very dicey calls and result in hectic short days. The Remote Day option lets us present a valuable learning day while keeping the kids safe at home.
We have been planning for this possibility and we believe we are ready. However, in order to give the teachers advanced notice for this first emergency Remote Day, I decided to make the decision this afternoon. In the future we may be able to adopt a more “wait-and-see” approach, but that didn’t seem wise this first time, especially since this is brand new for the elementary schools.
(I realize that this decision may backfire and the storm (as often happens) may fizzle out. People may say- “Why didn’t we just come to school?!” That is a risk we decided to take. Regardless, we will put together a good day of learning. This early call will ensure that this remote day goes as smoothly as possible.)
- Students in Grades 6-12 will proceed exactly as they would on any day that their cohort is remote (In fact, the High School was already planning to be fully remote for the rest of this week based upon the exam schedule and the end of the first semester.)
- Students in Grades K-5 have been sent home with their computers (all except the Kindergarten Fireflies). Elementary parents should check their email or Google classrooms for instructions from their child’s teacher about when classes will meet online tomorrow.
- Fully Virtual School will run exactly as it always does.
Our teachers and your children are demonstrating an amazing degree of flexibility and innovation. This is a different mode of teaching and technology can be tricky. We appreciate your continued patience and help as we work through many new things together. School offices will be open (subject to possible delay) so please call if you are having any trouble or difficulty getting connected.
Q. Will we always handle the old idea of “two-hour delays” like this?
A. Two hour delays are disruptive and hectic. If this works well, it may replace that option in the future… but it may not. For starters, the state may revoke the “Remote Day” as an option. It is only in place for this year as a pilot. If the Remote day becomes more of a permanent option, we can review and discuss how we want to use it in the future. We will explore that together. It does open up possibilities including less hectic days and options for bitter cold sub-zero days.