Snow might cancel a trek to school but it won’t mean students can take a day off from academics, according to a new “digital days” policy implemented this year by the Washoe County School District.
New this school year are “digital school days,” which mean students will complete learning activities and assignments provided by their teachers at home. They will be utilized when entire school days have been cancelled due to bad weather. This also means no make-up days at the end of the school year.
Digital days won’t apply to delayed starts and early dismissals.
Deputy Superintendent Kristen McNeill said the idea was piloted last year at schools in Incline Village.
“It was a design that was thought of by teachers and principals but brought to life by our student accounting director Bryn Lapenta,” McNeill said. “She’s spent countless hours researching other districts and finding out what other districts do in lieu of having a contingency day. We know if we tack days on at the end of the year, that’s an impact to our families and staff. So using a digital day allows us to have school in lieu of a snow day.”
Connect-Ed calls, text messages and e-mails will go out to let parents and students know a digital day has been enacted. Teachers are expected to be available through e-mail, the school website or another online learning platform to answer questions from students having trouble.
Students without internet access will be provided with assignments when school resumes. They will have one day for each missed day, plus one more day, to complete assignments.
Individual schools are preparing plans in case a digital day is implemented. Once finalized, tests will be conducted to ensure functionality. Schools will reach out to families with specific information before a test run later this month.