Indiana’s positive transformation of teaching and learning over the past few years has brought digital resources, access, expertise, and skills to our schools. This blended environment allows for learning to occur beyond our schools’ walls and beyond the traditional day. For the past two years, Indiana has utilized this digital learning space to keep learning going in spite of the weather, through the IDOE’s Virtual Option for Inclement Weather, which will continue for the 2015-2016 school year.
The Virtual Option can be used in two ways:
First, districts may use it on a make-up day, or for make up hours. This option allows for districts to open a school during the make up time to provide for students that might have some challenges learning away from the building (i.e.: supervision, internet and computer access, special need accommodations, etc.).
Second, the Virtual Option can be used ON an inclement weather day. This option is a much heavier lift for the district as all special considerations for ALL students must still be addressed and met away from the buildings.
We do realize that each of our districts are unique and will have their own set of challenges with the Virtual Option. However, as evidenced the last two years, each district, their families, and their communities will have their own strategies for meeting those challenges. To honor those strategies, while still ensuring learning is happening for ALL students, certain assurances have been established and MUST be met by the corporation/school. These assurances of the Virtual Option for Inclement Weather are explained in video segments posted here.
Also, download and review this important Guidance for Students with Significant Disabilities.
After your study of the webinar content, and upon coming to the conclusion this option is right for your corporation, you are ready to complete the Virtual Option Application. After submitting the application successfully, you will receive approval from the Office of eLearning within one week. You must receive approval before implementing the Virtual Option. The application for the 2015-16 school year is now closed. All districts/schools that utilized the Virtual Option during this school year will receive an email with an online survey regarding virtual days actually used and attendance on those days. Surveys will be due by June 30, 2016. Applications for the 2016-17 school year will open in August.
Application process for the 2015-2016 school year can be found here.
If you have additional questions, please email Candice Dodson, Director of eLearning.