FCPS seeks feedback on virtual instruction on inclement weather days

Frederick County Public Schools is seeking public feedback regarding its plan to utilize asynchronous virtual instruction on up to three inclement weather days.

For the second consecutive year, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is allowing for certain school days to be repurposed as virtual learning days. This asynchronous virtual instruction could be implemented for inclement weather events.  The state is allowing up to three asynchronous days.

As a result, FCPS plans to apply for asynchronous virtual instruction for three days in the 2022-23 school year. This plan does not mean that virtual learning would be the first option on inclement weather days. The potential option would provide FCPS some flexibility in responding to snow and ice events this winter.

The purpose of submitting the plan for asynchronous virtual instruction is to (1) mitigate disruption to learning mid-year; (2) minimize the additional days at the end of the school year when instructional benefits are less meaningful; and (3) keep students connected to learning in the event of an extended closure.

The full plan for asynchronous weather days is posted online. FCPS is encouraging the community to provide feedback via a one-question Google Form. The feedback will be taken into consideration when presenting the plan to the Board of Education of Frederick County for approval at its next meeting on Wednesday, October 26. A Board-approved plan would then be shared with MSDE for approval.

The survey will be open through 9 a.m. Tuesday, October 25

Plan Highlights

At the elementary school level, activities will be sent home in hard copy prior to an inclement weather day. FCPS created activities that would provide choices of tech-based and non-tech based activities to allow students without internet access or loss of access due to inclement weather to participate in instruction. Principals will create a school-wide support schedule for students via Google Meet and phone.

At the secondary school level, Chromebooks are available to all students. Secondary schools will post activities in Schoology. Hard copy materials will also be sent home with students for students without internet access. Principals will create a school-wide support schedule for students via Google Meet and phone.

In recognition of the many variables for families on inclement weather days, the asynchronous instruction will provide opportunities for assignments to be completed through both technology-based and non-technology based options. The plan also recognizes that families may have situations that prevent the assignments from being completed that day. Students will have the opportunity to turn in the work within a reasonable time period. 

A planning day to share all of the details about how the virtual instruction would be presented and accessed after MSDE approval. The communication plan would include a systemic message with general procedures and a school specific message that guides students to the specific directions for accessing assigned work. On this planning day, teachers would also provide explicit instructions to their students on the process for accessing their class assignments.