Posted: Tue, 03/28/2017 - 8:29am Updated: Mon, 06/12/2017 - 8:30am

In 2009 changes in the rules for textbook funding opened the door to technology in Indiana schools. In the eight years since, our school corporations have greatly expanded the technology which students and teachers access for learning. According to our Indiana Tech Plan data, over half of all corporations brought their student/device ratio up to 1:1 at either all or some grade levels.  

This access to devices spurred innovative ways to engage students and teachers outside of the traditional day and place through virtual options for learning. These experiences brought about the IDOE Flex Program, launched in 2011, and the Virtual Option for Inclement Weather, launched in 2014. With these programs, school corporations designed and implemented blended learning experiences for all students and met the IDOE criteria for eLearning Days (listed below).

Through interaction with the corporations approved for Flex and the Virtual Option over the past six years, it has become clear that having the capacity to utilize digital tools for learning away from the classroom, and for all students, is the same regardless of the reason for doing so. With that in mind, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year we have combined the Flex and Virtual Option programs into the IDOE eLearning Day Program.

The new IDOE eLearning Day Program can be used on a day of inclement weather, on a make-up day for inclement weather, or on a planned day for a myriad of valid opportunities, ie: professional learning for teachers, parent meetings, etc. School corporations must still meet the IDOE criteria, fill out an online application, and receive approval from the IDOE Office of eLearning in order to utilize eLearning Days.  

If your school corporation applied and was approved for the Virtual Option for Inclement Weather and/or the Flex Program for the 2016-2017 school year, your listed contact will receive an application for the 2017 eLearning Day Program through email. If you have not received your application by April 7, 2017, please email Meri Carnahan at carnahan@doe.in.gov.

If your school corporation would like to apply for the 2017-2018 eLearning Day Program for the first time and/or you were not an approved Virtual Option and/or Flex corporation in 2016-2017, you will need to fill out an online application that includes listening to a webinar and answering a question for each of the mandatory criteria. The webinar features representatives from four Indiana school districts sharing how they met the required criteria for eLearning Days. It is strongly recommended that you gather a team including a teacher, building level administrator, eLearning coach, tech person, and the superintendent and listen to the webinar in its entirety before filling out the application. The Superintendent’s signature will be required on the application to indicate that the required criteria can be met by the district for the approved eLearning Day Program.  

Please find the video webinar segments here.

Find the application for participating in the 2017-2018 eLearning Day Program for the first time here.  

 
 

2017-2018 eLearning Day Criteria

 
The following criteria must be met in order for a school corporation to apply for and utilize eLearning Days.
Internet Access Our school corporation can demonstrate access to digital learning for students and teachers away from our buildings.
Instructor Access Teachers will be directly reachable from students and parents to facilitate and support instruction.
Platform Experience All of our teachers and students have access to, and experience using, online platforms and digital resources for learning.
Learning Targets All of our students will be informed of their learning targets for the day by 9:00 a.m.
Work Continuity Student work will cover content that would have been addressed if school were in session in a traditional setting.
Accommodation Support All students who have accommodations for instruction will be provided with or have access to those accommodations.
Offline Support For students with disabilities who do not use an online platform for learning or for whom an online platform is not appropriate, teachers will provide parents/caregivers with appropriate educational materials and learning activities for student use.
Individual Needs For limited English proficient students, teachers will provide parents/caregivers appropriate educational materials and learning activities for student use per the Individual Learning Plan.
Work Measurement Students will demonstrate time on task and/or equivalent learning growth for the time.

Questions regarding the eLearning Day Program should be sent to Meri Carnahan at carnahan@doe.in.gov.