SACS eLearning Background

Snow/Inclement Weather and Elearning at SACS

Why Elearning for Snow/Inclement Weather Day Make Up ?

SACS is excited to offer elearning days in place of snow day vacations away from learning which later need to be made up Often these make up days are at the end of the year and do not always reflect the learning that was needed at the time of the day off. It is a goal of SACS to allow elearning days to be student and teacher working days where blended learning activities allow students to continue to make educational progress. This is especially important in the face of summative tests with dates that do not move with bad weather. Along with this benefit, SACS student learn to utilize online instruction in highly effective ways. This will be an important skill, putting them ahead of outside district peers as they advance their education and later pursue life long learning endeavours.Teachers and students in the 12 Indiana districts utilizing flex days have documented the effectiveness of properly trained teachers to meet the needs of their students in new and exciting ways.

In order to qualify, districts had to demonstrate capability and accessibility. At SACS we have inpidualized plans for students with back-up plans for catastrophic events. With regard to attendance, it is very easy to check which students and teachers logged in to the Learning Management System. This is not unlike area universities, or any other distance learning program. The independence of the learner at home has always been something teachers have been taking into account for as long as there have been schools and homework.In the case of technical difficulties or lack of connection, provisions are made to allow extra time for work along with suggestions for connection possibilities.

SACS has put years of work getting teachers ready for blended learning and leveraging technology to expand the classroom. SACS and the other 11 flex program districts in Indiana have invested large amounts of time and money in staff development, lesson plan development, software vetting procedures, board policies, informational websites for parents, student digital citizenship training, relationship building with families, technology infrastructure. The goal has been to improve our capability to deliver high quality instruction to our students in a manner that reflects what their future will look like. Snow/inclement weather make-up days have long been viewed by parents as an imperfect solution. It is a past and present practice for SACS to utilized technology and blended learning to produce the best AP test scores in the district's history and state of Indiana Another example is. how our Future City team from Woodside Middle School utilized Google Docs during a snowed-out week in January to produce a project that won them a trip to Washington DC and the national finals.

The SACS Snow/inclement Weather Day plan is to make up closure days as they happen using our blending learning technology (i.e. e-Learning). Please keep in mind that the district is constantly monitoring these type of days. If at anytime the district experiences an event or events that cause SACS to miss too many days in a short period of time the idea of lost educational momentum will be evaluated. If there appears to be this lost the district will use the built-in snow makeup days on the calendar as school days. At that time a widespread would announcement will be made and posted to the district site..

The elearning program at SACS is one of many reasons that so many families look to moving to the southwest side of Fort Wayne. Afterall, SACS is one of the leading districts in Indiana and was recently named the 4th best school district in the state. That speaks volumes about our students, parents, and educators.. It also speaks to the district's desire to be better tomorrow than we are today. Why stop at fourth? It is programs like e-learning that will help us get even better which will result in even more student success!

Please take a Moment to Learn from our E-Learning Make Up Day Library

Area News Outlets (Click on the link following the sources

SACS Videos are Below

Lessons Learned From The 2014 Pilot for E-Learning Days
Please take a moment to view what SACS learned from the very first pilot project on snow/inclement weather elearning days during the winter of 2014. You will discover that SACS learned so much in regards to making effective use of technology and e-learning to make the best use of what we often we refer to as snow/inclement weather days. Please be certain that we will all continue to learn


The Beginning Years: An Elementary Teacher Perspective

Yes, our elementary students continue to learn even when the snow or weather closes the school. Not only are they keeping up with content, but they are discovering ways to learn online. This might actually be the most valuable outcome. Please enjoy you elementary glimpse through a teacher's eyes of those beginning years of e-learning in the snow!

Life in the Middle: An Middle School Teacher Perspective

Middle School is a time of excitement and wonder and also the perfect time for elearning. The social aspects of elearning can be a positive for learning and engagement. E-learning can foster that need to acquire the ability for students to take responsibility for their learning. Enjoy this middle school journey that shows that elearning can be a wonderful opportunity for life in the middle.

Preparing For The Next Step: A High School Teacher Perspective

As student make there way along the high school journey they are constantly acquiring knowledge of content along with those important college and career ready skills. Through e-learning high school students are able to keep momentum going for those important ECA's, ISTEP, SAT's, ACT's, Dual Credit, and Advanced Placement Summative Exams. Take a moment on your visit and learn how E-learning is an essential part of taking those next steps.

Preparing For The Next Steps... What Do The High School Students Think

Take a moment and listen to perceptions of the pilot e-learning snow day project from high school students. This visit with students will allow you to see both some of the positive, and less positive aspects of the e-learning. Understand that videos like this allow SACS educators to evaluate, accommodate, and adjust the process so that students are provided optimum learning experiences. All of this is so important as you will see in viewing students taking those next steps

High School Students Address Teachers on E-learning

Listen in as some high school students discuss some thought on the e-learning experience. This was part of a panel discussion in the month of January 2015. The video provides some good insight.

A Glimpse From The Front Office: Administrators Reflecting

The e-learning effort in SACS is a point of constant reflection, evaluation, and revision for those administrators in the front office. They have learned and continue to adjust procedures from that very first pilot. This process is important and it demonstrates the commitment that has always been important at SACS in providing the very best educational experiences and opportunities for students. Enjoy your glimpse from the front offices at SACS!

All videos produced by Mr. David Rarick at SACS and are the property of Southwest Allen County Schools