Learning Anywhere and Anytime redefines snow days

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 2/1/2019 10:20:00 AM

Because of the inclement weather in recent weeks and the possibility of severe weather every winter in central Illinois, Peoria Public Schools is re-defining the snow day with the debut of Learning Anywhere and Anytime throughout the district.

 

  • Roosevelt Magnet School second graders’ list of assignments included writing a word problem using two-digit by two-digit addition; read for 20 minutes and taking a 10-minute break for stretching and pushups. They had 12 assignments to complete for the day.
  • Roosevelt 8th grade students could choose 12 assignments out of 24 for the two snow days. Choices included a worksheet on the area of triangles, research on Pythagoras; a two-paragraph essay on Charles Darwin; drawing a sketch of a snow scene from their bedroom window and 30 minutes of reading. 
  • In addition to more traditional assignments, Richwoods High School biology teacher Kathy Morton conducted science experiments in her backyard and posted the videos on Twitter. At an air temperature of -18 degrees and wind chill of -51 degrees, a raw egg and a can of cold soda sitting outside will explode after approximately 50 minutes.
  • Richwoods principal Brett Elliott used Twitter to ask students to reflect on their post-high-school goals and how they intended to achieve them and to post their answers.

 

Students across the district completed similar assignments during the two snow days this week. Learning Anywhere and Anytime is allowable under the Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) waiver for flexible days. Students who return to school with assignments completed will be counted as present for the two days that school was not in session. Teachers were available to answer students’ questions via email from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on both days. While many high school assignments could be completed online if the student chose to do so, most assignments did not require internet access to be completed.

 

 Learning Anywhere and Anytime helps our students stay on track academically and allows the District to avoid extending the school year in late May. 

 

Because of the severe danger in venturing outdoors this week, Peoria Public School staff members were also given the choice of working from home and completing professional development activities assigned by program coordinators and supervisors.

 

Learning Anywhere and Anytime is also an example of strong collaboration between district administration, principals, teachers and staff members at all levels to react quickly to a developing weather situation and implement an innovative program for students. We also must thank Peoria Public School parents, grandparents and caregivers for supporting our effort to keep students learning from home during these two days. A learning-from-home program could not be successful without support from the entire Peoria Public Schools family.

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