The State of Pennsylvania is now allowing schools across the state to use Flexible Instructional Days as part of the calendar. It has been great that we have been blessed with good weather and have not had to cancel school on account of inclement weather. However, we need to prepare for what to expect should school be closed for inclement weather or other emergency events. We would like to ensure you are informed of what Flexible Instructional Days are and what they constitute for students.
Flexible Instructional Days are to be used when, in ordinary circumstances, school could not be held — when school is closed for inclement weather, or in similar emergency circumstances. I am pleased to announce that our school, and all schools in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, are implementing this approach to emergency school closures this school year.
Here is some information on how this will work.
When school is called off, you will be informed that we are using a Flexible Instructional Day via the Admin Plus Notify. Please be sure to have an updated phone number and email address in the Rediker System (you have the ability to update this information on your Portal Page) as Television News Station notifications will only report that school is cancelled/closed for that day. A flexible instructional day will be a full instructional school day. It will count for a full school day and school days will NOT need to be added to the calendar in order to make up for a missed school day as long as at minimum 80% of our students complete the work. Bishop McDevitt will insist that all students complete the work as we do not want students to believe others will make up for their lack of participation on that day. The assignments will be part of the students academic grade report and that is how we will monitor and account for student work completion and attendance verification.
Why are we implementing Flexible Instructional Days?
We are doing so because we believe that continuity of instruction is important. In adding make up days to other points in our calendar, we are sometimes making up a day but losing momentum in learning. Flexible Instructional Days allow us to continue to learn and provide a chance to do so in ways that are creative and engaging and that can involve parents more fully in the learning process as well.
How will this work?
Once we have established a flexible instructional day, students will work on the lessons that the teachers have provided them. Assignments will be placed online on teacher google classroom sites or provided via handouts. Teachers will be available by email from 9 to 3 during a flexible instructional day. You may find teacher emails here https://www.bishopmcdevitt.org/staff. Students will be asked to comple
te given assignments and turn them in as requested. Please know that there will, of course, be an element of instruction in our Catholic faith included in each FID.
What kind of work will students need to do?
We hope parents will be able to engage in this work with students. As the primary educators of your children, this is an opportunity for you to be more intimately involved in the learning process of our school. Our teachers will focus on work that is engaging and worthwhile, and we will NOT give additional or surprise assessments as part of this process.
How will we know that this is working well?
Teachers will know that this process is effective if the vast majority of our students are completing their assignments. The completion of work will equate to attendance at school for that day. The state gives us great flexibility, but they do insist that we have a measurement for our attendance for each day, including Flexible Instructional Days, and we will abide closely to that expectation. If the vast majority of our students do not complete their work as required, we will NOT be able to count this day as a school calendar day.
Thank you for your understanding, support, and cooperation! We are excited for this new undertaking and are grateful for your trust and assistance in this matter, as in all things.
Blessings and best wishes to you and your family. We will be in touch with more information on Flexible Instructional Days.
Vincent Harper ‘92