Learning and Technology
Edina Public Schools will implement e-Learning Days in the 2019-2020 school year to ensure continuity of learning despite school cancellation. Specifically, EPS will begin to take advantage of 2017 Legislation that amended the Length of School Year; Hours of Instruction (Minn. Stat. § 120A.41) to include the option of e-Learning days due to inclement weather. The School Board approved the district’s e-Learning Day plan in July. Districts are allowed five e-Learning Days in a school year.
Working with curriculum staff and digital learning specialists, teachers will develop learning opportunities that offer a combination of online and offline activities. e-Learning Days will not necessarily equal, hour-for-hour, a typical school day. Rather they will focus on advancing the work already happening in the classroom through hands-on or technology based learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are e-Learning Days?
e-Learning Days are stay-at-home learning days that are invoked when the weather conditions force the district to close. Using our normal severe weather communications, families will be instructed to access technology to learn about what is expected on these days.
Why do we need e-Learning Days?
Continuity of learning is important for our students to succeed. In order to do this, we feel that learning needs to continue even when we have an unplanned cancellation of a school day. Students will be expected to participate in their courses in EdinaApps or through activities that they can do around their home.
All schools in Minnesota have a required amount of time for which students must attend. In the event that we have a school cancellation due to inclement weather, e-Learning Days help us meet our attendance requirements.
How do e-Learning Days work?
- Families will receive an automated message notifying them of a school cancellation. Messages will also be distributed on the district website, social media, and appear on local television stations.
- A link to e-Learning Day instructions and assignments will be included in the email notification and posted on the district website.
- Teachers will post "office hours" during which they will be available to answer questions or provide guidance.
- Recognizing that students with special needs may face unique challenges while performing academic tasks independently, provisions will be made for the particular needs of these students by their teachers.
Is attendance taken on e-Learning Days?
Yes, this is a requirement by state legislation. Attendance is taken by setting due dates/times for e-Learning assignments:
- Assignments for elementary students will be due later the same day, however there will be a five-day grace period before a student is marked absent.
- Assignments for secondary students must be turned in no later than 11:59 p.m. that day.
What if an e-Learning Day is called and my students are at their emergency day care (with grandparent/neighbor, etc.)?
Elementary students will have up to five days to complete their assignments, so there will be time for parental assistance to complete the work. The district's 1:1 technology model for grades 6-12 means that secondary students can access and complete their assignments wherever they are. Assignments for secondary students must be turned in by 11:59 p.m. that day.
How will the district ensure access to e-Learning materials for all students?
Access to technology is critical for learning at Edina Public Schools. Therefore access to technology and Internet access is critical for the day-to-day learning in Edina Public Schools regardless of e-learning or normal instruction.
The following process ensures all families have internet access for all learning by:
- Providing a district device to access learning anyone who needs one
- Providing a mobile hotspot to anyone who is identified as needing one
In addition, during our e-Learning Days the expectation is that a telephone can be used to provide assistance to our students. The plan is to utilize the voicemail system to leave messages, which then go directly to email. We would assist teachers to leverage Google Voice in order to keep their telephone numbers private.
Are other districts doing this?
A number of other districts in Minnesota are using similar activities for e-Learning Days. We looked at what other districts are doing and have incorporated some of those ideas in creating a plan to best meet the needs of our students, while complying with state laws that set expectations for e-Learning Days.