Salem Schools are exploring e-learning for students to complete their homework during days when the area is experiencing inclement weather and schools need to be closed for safety. 

Salem Schools Superintendent Lynn Reed appeared on the monthly educational segement, EDUCATION WEDNESDAY on WSLM 97.9 FM and WSLM 1220 AM. 

She said Salem Community Schools will host a community involvement dinner on March 6 at Salem High School at 6p.

“There will be a link online to RSVP and tickets will be created so the school will have an idea how many will be participating,” she said. “The dinner is free and open to the public.”

“After a spaghetti dinner, we will have a short, but informative program and explain how our first e-learning day will work,” said Reed. “With this first dinner, we will explain that next year, individual schools will be having these dinners each semester so the parents/students/community will have the opportunity to attend 6 different dinners and learn about what is going on in the schools.”

In 2009 changes in the rules for textbook funding opened the door to technology in Indiana schools.

In the eight years since, Indiana school corporations have greatly expanded the technology which students and teachers access for learning.

According to the Indiana Tech Plan data, over half of all corporations brought their student/device ratio up to 1:1 at either all or some grade levels.  

This access to devices spurred innovative ways to engage students and teachers outside of the traditional day and place through virtual options for learning.

These experiences brought about the IDOE Flex Program, launched in 2011, and the Virtual Option for Inclement Weather, launched in 2014.

With these programs, school corporations designed and implemented blended learning experiences for all students and met the IDOE criteria for eLearning Days (listed below).

Through interaction with the corporations approved for Flex and the Virtual Option over the past six years, it has become clear that having the capacity to utilize digital tools for learning away from the classroom, and for all students, is the same regardless of the reason for doing so.

With that in mind, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year we have combined the Flex and Virtual Option programs into the IDOE eLearning Day Program.

The new IDOE eLearning Day Program can be used on a day of inclement weather, on a make-up day for inclement weather, or on a planned day for a myriad of valid opportunities, ie: professional learning for teachers, parent meetings, etc.

School corporations must still meet the IDOE criteria, fill out an online application, and receive approval from the IDOE Office of eLearning in order to utilize eLearning Days.  

The following criteria must be met in order for a school corporation to apply for and utilize eLearning Days.
Internet Access Our school corporation can demonstrate access to digital learning for students and teachers away from our buildings.
Instructor Access Teachers will be directly reachable from students and parents to facilitate and support instruction.
Platform Experience All of our teachers and students have access to, and experience using, online platforms and digital resources for learning.
Learning Targets All of our students will be informed of their learning targets for the day by 9:00 a.m.
Work Continuity Student work will cover content that would have been addressed if school were in session in a traditional setting.
Accommodation Support All students who have accommodations for instruction will be provided with or have access to those accommodations.
Offline Support For students with disabilities who do not use an online platform for learning or for whom an online platform is not appropriate, teachers will provide parents/caregivers with appropriate educational materials and learning activities for student use.
Individual Needs For limited English proficient students, teachers will provide parents/caregivers appropriate educational materials and learning activities for student use per the Individual Learning Plan.
Work Measurement Students will demonstrate time on task and/or equivalent learning growth for the time.