WCSD clarifies info about snow days becoming homework days

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- UPDATE: The Washoe County School District has issued follow-up information about a plan to turn snow days into digital homework days for students.

Here is the statement:

"The phone call that went out yesterday (September 25, 2018) contained information that was only for one school, information such as test dates and instructions on how to access school work will be different for every school and class. The page your website linked to has the information for just one specific teacher’s plan.

"We are working on developing information and FAQ’s for parents today. We just got this website with basic info up.

"For the 2018-2019 School year WCSD will be implementing Digital School Days. A Digital School Day is used in place of a school day that has been cancelled due to inclement weather. A digital school day means that students will complete learning activities and assignments provided by the teacher at home. This program is based on a successful pilot conducted at Incline Village schools last year.

"The amount of time a student spends in the classroom every year is determined by Nevada law and regulated by the Nevada Department of Education. Historically WCSD has scheduled contingency days at the end of the school year to allow for missed instruction time to be made up due to weather closures. Contingency days have several downsides, they often complicate final exams, family’s travel plans, and even impact graduation ceremonies.

"Schools and teachers are currently preparing detailed plans for the implementation of Digital School Days. These plans will include a detailed strategies to deliver a viable lesson in case students don't have access to technology. These plans also will include protocol for when a teacher is not able to access technology (power outages do happen during snow storms). Additionally, there will be opportunities for students to make up any work that they had been unable to access during the snow day.

"Once plans have been approved and finalized, every school will conduct tests of the plan to ensure functionality. Every school will be reaching out to parents with specific information about Digital School Days before conducting a test in late October. (some schools are a little ahead of the curve and have already began reaching out to parents)."

ORIGINAL STORY: The days of students enjoying time off from school during a snow day are all but gone thanks to a new plan to keep kids focused on their school work via the Internet from home.

A message sent home from Washoe County School District reads, "This year (sic) Middle School will implement a plan for missed instruction due to snow days, or days when the school building is closed. Such days are known as digital days because students learn digitally at home. Students will be required to complete all class assignments from digital days. Please ensure that you complete all work that is assigned on digital days so that we can count your student as "present" on digital days."

The letter sent home to parents September 25, 2018 today states the district will run two practice sessions of this new process, "One will be on October 11th and the other on October 23rd. During these practice sessions, we will send messages to determine if you and your child receive the messages through the IC Messenger system that will send the messages to your child’s Inbox on their Infinite Campus account, and to your listed email address in Infinite Campus."

A page found on the Washoe County School District website is set up for instruction about this new direction. It is designed to have all the assignments for "online classroom days". Click here to access this web page.

The instructions to access school work on one of these days is listed below:

-Students login for Textbook at home
-Go to washoeschools.net
-Click on Student and Parents
-Click on Envision
-Click on Sign In
-Sign into the Federation Page using;
-Username: Washoe\studentID#
-Password: _____ (only the students know)
-This will take you to your dashboard.

We have a call in with the Washoe County School District to learn if this is the new program for all Washoe County Schools or just select schools. We'll report this information as soon as it comes into our newsroom.