Indiana

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Indiana Schools Taking Advantage Of Snow Day Make-Up Flexibility Plan

Inclement weather has canceled class more often than usual in Indiana schools this winter.

Indiana schools have racked up twice as many snow days this winter as they did last year — and many are considering alternate ways to make them up.

Schools are getting creative with how they’ll make up for lost time due to inclement weather, reports Kim Kilbride for the South Bend Tribune:

Today, a spokeswoman from Penn-Harris-Madison schools announced that administrators will use a similarly creative tactic to make up for the multitude of weather-related cancellations this winter.

An “eLearning” plan will be implemented in P-H-M schools from March 17 to May 12, Teresa Carroll said.

Teachers will provide students with a variety of online assignments to do outside the school day. And schools will make accommodations for students who don’t have a home computer or Internet access.

Daniel Altman, a spokesman with the Indiana Department of Education, said he’s not sure how many systems are using the flexible options state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz offered to corporations this winter to minimize the number of days they’d otherwise have to add on at the end of the school year.

“Because the conditional waiver process was designed to give schools flexibility in how they schedule their make-up time…we have not reached the date where schools need to tell us what their specific make-up plans are,” Altman said.

The Department of Education announced the flexibility plan last month as a way for districts to make up instructional time before spring standardized tests. The State Board also approved a longer ISTEP+ testing window.

As we’ve written before, the research is mixed on whether tacking on instructional time at the end of the day works. Schools that have experimented with longer school days have not done so in isolation, but as part of larger turnaround efforts.

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