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EPS introduces e-Learning Days for school closures

July 26, 2019 - Edina Public Schools (EPS) will implement e-Learning Days beginning 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.

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.

For instance, younger students may be assigned to measure snow depth or graph temperatures. Older students may have a reading assignment and participate in an online discussion, with instructions spelled out on their teachers’ Schoology page. Teachers will have availability on e-Learning Days to answer questions, provide guidance or lead online discussions. Plans are in place to ensure all students have internet access or adaptive technology, as needed.

Notification of an e-Learning Day would happen in conjunction with school closure announcements, using the same email, voicemail, text messaging system, as well as website posting and notification on local television stations.

“Over the past two years we’ve had conversations with other districts who have been successfully using e-learning to learn what we can from them,” said Steve Buettner, director of media and technology services. “By leveraging our technology systems and our staffs’ long tradition of using technology for instruction, we will be able to keep learning going even when the schools are closed.”

According to Buettner, this first year of e-Learning Days will likely be geared primarily toward middle and high school students. “Parents and students will hear a lot more about e-Learning Days throughout the fall so that when the first snowflakes fall, we are ready for anything,” he said.