E-Learning in Lieu of Scheduled Emergency Days
On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Decatur Public Schools Board of Education adopted an e-Learning program in lieu of utilizing the District’s scheduled emergency days. Essentially, on any day that would be called a snow day, students and staff will instead shift to e-Learning for that day and will then not have to make up the snow day at the end of the school year. Per Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) guidelines, as with previous emergency days, only five (5) of these days can be used during a school year; any emergency days beyond that will simply result in a canceled school day.
Also per ISBE guidelines, this program must be adopted for three (3) school years at a time. Therefore, adoption of this e-Learning program is in effect for the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years.
Click the document to the left to view 61 Live: DPS Virtual Learning, the e-Learning plan that has been approved by the Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education for use on days when e-Learning will be utilized in lieu of scheduled emergency days. And read below for frequently asked questions about this program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why address this at this point in time? DPS has been in a virtual learning environment for nearly a year, so it makes sense to adopt an ongoing virtual learning plan to be utilized in the coming years as well. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires that e-Learning plans in lieu of scheduled emergency days be adopted for three years at a time, so this plan would be in effect for the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years.
How would the students get their iPads to use on an e-Learning day? For the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, we anticipate that students will transport their iPads to and from school daily. However, as this is a three-year plan (as required by ISBE), in future school years packets aligned to standards could be sent home periodically for students to complete if we were to utilize an e-Learning day.
What happens if ice knocks out electricity or the internet? If there are widespread power and/or internet outages, we would utilize a regular emergency day rather than an e-Learning day. That emergency day would then have to be made up at the end of the school year, as they are under current procedures.
Is this just for snow days? No, e-Learning days could be used in lieu of emergency days for any emergency, including snow days, heat days, etc.
The e-Learning document looks like it's from September 2020, is this correct? This is the documentation that’s been previously approved by the Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education for use on e-Learning days. We do know that during the 2020-21 school year, since we are in a continuing virtual learning environment, use of these e-Learning days in lieu of emergency days would look different than in a normal school year. We do anticipate updating these materials as our e-Learning plan evolves in the coming years. However, ISBE does require the document to be approved for three years at a time.