SASD seeks input from district families regarding virtual learning on snow days

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The Sparta Area School District (SASD) recently provided district families with updated procedures for snow days/inclement weather days as this year, the district decided to implement virtual learning on inclement weather days.  
On days that are considered snow days/inclement weather days, buildings will be closed to students and they will be expected to participate in classes virtually.  Schools will send devices home with students when inclement weather days can be anticipated.  
“This is the first time we have used virtual learning for a weather event, so we request your continued patience as we work through any issues,” said Superintendent Dr. Amy Van Deuren in a statement. “We are excited about the benefits of learning virtually on inclement weather days, including staying on track with the learning and maintaining our end-of-year summer vacation schedule.”  
Two-hour delays and early dismissals due to inclement weather will continue to work as they have in previous years and there will be no additional virtual learning expected during the two-hour delay or early dismissal period.
Administrators and staff will communicate information about inclement weather days and weather delays/early dismissals in all of the same ways they have in previous years, including Skylert notifications, through the district’s website at www.spartan.org, through news/radio stations and the district’s Facebook page.  
Last week, the SASD tried its first Virtual Inclement Weather Day, which was implemented as a trial run with the intention to determine if virtual learning on snow days would be beneficial as a regular practice.
“We know that there are advantages and disadvantages to both options, learning virtually on inclement weather days or taking them as a day off. When we choose virtual learning on inclement weather days, we can ensure students stay on track with learning as well as maintain our end-of-year summer vacation schedule,” Van Deuren wrote. “Keeping snow days/inclement weather days as a traditional “day off” has the benefit of offering a day of reprieve and the traditional fun a snow day brings.”
After sending the statement to district families, staff received a lot of feedback from parents and decided to conduct a follow up survey with families to determine whether or not the Virtual Inclement Weather Days are something that they want the district to continue. 
The district has now created a survey to gather feedback regarding options for how to proceed with inclement weather days. The survey is now available on the district’s website at https://www.spartan.org/updates/index.
The district has suggested three options for staff and families to choose from on how to move forward with inclement weather days. 
Option 1 would include traditional inclement weather days with the highest level of probability for adding days to the end of the school year. Students would have the day off and would not have to participate in virtual learning.
Option 2 would include virtual learning on inclement weather days where learning would occur regardless of the weather conditions. With this option is the highest level of certainty regarding the scheduled school year end date.
Option 3 would allow for the first two inclement weather days as traditional days off and any additional inclement weather days would be virtual learning days. This option provides a balance of the first two options and a moderate to high level of certainty regarding the school year end date.
Parents, students and staff are asked to complete the survey by the end of the day on Thursday, February 11.

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