I'm so glad that our kids will get at least one "proper" snowfall this year. The snow is heavy and wet - perfect for snowmen!
Send your kiddos (the littles and the bigs) out to make a snowman this morning before it switches to rain. We welcome your pics at email@example.com. They may make it into the yearbook!
I bet many of you thought, "Snow day...?" when we sent out the text last night. Based on the last two years, you were likely "predicting and preparing" for a virtual day today.
Allow me to offer some answers to the frequently asked questions that I'm sure are running through your head :)
Q: Ms. Brandee, I checked my kiddo's bag and he doesn't have a packet of work or a Chromebook. What are we supposed to do today?
A: Today is a "classic" snow day. Have your kids make snowmen, whip up some hot chocolate, read books, get cozy. There are no expectations of school work today (unless they haven't done last night's homework yet - ha!).
You remember... like what we used to do when we were little and it snowed :)
Q: I thought snow days were a thing of the past.
A: I thought so too, but the rules keep changing.
In September of this year, all superintendents and school directors received a memo from RIDE with updated expectations for virtual days in the 22-23 school year.
The key change was that "Virtual Instructional Days must have a minimum of three cumulative hours of synchronous instruction." (The RIDE team underlined the synchronous in that quote, not me).
Q: It's been a while - what does "synchronous instruction" mean again?
A: The key indicator is that synchronous instruction is LIVE for both the student and the teacher at the same time. The most common form is a Google Meet or a Zoom.
Q: Woah, 3 hours of Google Meet in a day to hit the minimum threshold of the expectation?
A: Yep, 3 hours would be the requirement for a virtual day for every student in the school, even the little Explorers (K/1st).
It also assumes that everyone has power (which is not the case in bad weather). Often our teachers lose power and aren't available for live instruction.
With that in mind, Compass chose a "classic" snow day; we don't believe it is best practice nor is it practical to require 3 hours of synchronous virtual instruction and without it, we would not meet the new 22-23 RIDE guidance.
Q: Ms. Brandee, I saw a lot of schools on the cancellation listing that called today as a virtual or distance learning day. I counted; there are 13 RI public school districts that called today as virtual or distance learning.
Do you mean to tell me that they're all doing 3 hours of synchronous instruction today?
A: I can't speak for what is happening in other schools.
Maybe they're following the new RIDE rules...maybe they're not. I'm "only" responsible for Compass :)
I can share that it is quite possible that folks missed the memo (literally...it was a memo). This is the first day that the new guidance really comes into play.
Q: Okay, "classic snow day"...that means we need to tack on a day to the calendar in June?
A: Well... I have an idea that would not involve a late June makeup day, but I need to run it by Council first.
So... stay tuned! We meet next on March 14th.
In the meantime, tell your kids that you talked to Ms. Brandee and she said to go play outside! :)