Snow Day Scholars Program

 Snow Day Scholars

Link
May 28, 2019 Proposal Report to the Board of Education
Link
Appendix A to Board of Education Report


As everyone knows, weather in Connecticut during the long winter months is unpredictable, and often impacts our school schedule. Effective with the 2019-2020 school year, the South Windsor Board of Education has approved a district wide pilot of the Snow Day Scholars program. The Snow Day Scholars pilot will assess the merits and feasibility of allowing students to demonstrate independent learning during emergency closings with the understanding that the day will not need to be added to the calendar in June. No more than two (2) independent learning days will be utilized, and the Snow Day Scholars program will only be initiated after three (3) emergency closing days have occurred.

While families can expect to learn much more about the Snow Days Scholars program in a detailed communication coming out this Fall, the following addresses some of the preliminary questions you may have.

How does the program work? For the first three occurrences of an emergency closing (inclement weather or otherwise), schools will be closed with no formal expectation of independent learning. The Snow Day Scholars program will only be initiated after the first three (3) emergency closing days. Upon the fourth (4th) and fifth (5th) emergency closing days, all students and teachers will be engaged in independent learning that supports the core values of South Windsor Public Schools. The sixth and all subsequent emergency closing days would continue to be added to the June calendar.

What will students be doing? Students will engage in independent learning that reinforces core academic content in addition to promoting core competencies that contribute to their long-term success: resilience, innovative thinking, personal wellness, and social consciousness. Elementary and middle school students will be given grade level menus of performance tasks from all content areas. The use of menus promotes student choice as part of their instruction. Because high school students are already experienced in managing long-term and ongoing assignments, their work will reflect a higher level of independence. High school tasks may include work on performance assessments, reading and research related to course content, introduction of materials using technology, and ongoing practice to reinforce core skills.

How will we know that a “Snow Day Scholars” day has been initiated? Following the third emergency closing day, families will receive a reminder from principals that the Snow Days Scholar program will be initiated upon the next school closing. Principals and teachers will work with students and families to reinforce this information to ensure that expectations are clear.