With temperatures dropping significantly this week, it is a great time to review the winter weather policy at West Virginia Academy. Our charter school permits parents to have dramatically greater control over when their kids engage in remote learning as a consequence of adverse weather through the practice of "Optional Weather Days." An Optional Weather Day is a day where parents can determine whether their child will attend school live or engage in virtual learning from home. Optional Weather Days are announced through the class dojo app. and online resources like West Virginia Academy's homepage and official Facebook page.
Online learning is not our primary model at West Virginia Academy, but utilizing this tool to provide greater flexibility for education on days with inclement weather without cancelling school altogether allows families in diverse locations the ability to optimize their educational experience.
How to Opt-In to Remote Learning for your Child on an Optional Weather Day
Parents who wish to keep their kids home for remote learning during an Optional Weather Day must complete two steps prior to 9am that day:
(i) notify their child's homeroom teacher via class dojo that their child is remote learning for the day due to weather, AND
(ii) send an email to email@example.com with the child's name and homeroom teacher notifying the school that their child is remote learning for that day.
Taking the two steps above provides the school with adequate notice so that assignments can be submitted to the family and ensuring that the child is not marked absent for the day. Communication of the remote learning assignments may be sent back via email or class dojo.
What Does Remote Learning Look Like?
For the primary school, remote learning generally involves viewing pre-recorded direct instruction video for reading and math classes that align with the classes taught in the live courses that same day. Alternative assignments for other classes also may be provided. Optional weather days for the secondary classes will vary from day to day, but will often include a mix of zoom classes, particularly for English and Math, along with alternate assignments for other topics like social studies and science. These alternative approaches are not ideal as the school focuses primarily on live instruction, but remote learning can provide a bridge.
What if Families have Connectivity Problems? Families that are not able to complete assignments online due to lack of internet, a computer for each child, power outages, or other circumstances beyond their control can notify the school and elect to have the remote learning assignments completed at school on the next experience day or in the evenings after school.