Patrick County School Board discusses Virtual Learning Days

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By Cory L. Higgs

Andrea Cassell, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, spoke about the success of the county’s new venture into its “Virtual Learning Days.”

Cassell said due to a pre-scheduled Virtual Learning Day, on a teacher workday, the county had “banked” instructional hours and was not behind due to the inclement weather. She explained that students would be tasked with a virtual assignment to complete over ten days, to ensure that each student had ample time and resources to complete the tasks.

Cassell noted that the implication of the Virtual Learning Days is a learning process and that alterations may be made as needed. The ten-day window was extended as a few families were without power, and the schools wanted to be as fair as possible, so they extended the deadline, Cassell said.

With Virtual Learning days in place, the county can negate the high number of absent days due to inclement weather and keep students learning. She also noted that the Virtual Learning Days wouldn’t be clustered together to replace a regular week’s worth of classes and that a maximum of five Virtual Learning Days could be assigned in a term.  She said support for the program was overwhelmingly positive, a lot of students noted they like the self passed learning. However, Cassell said they are still in the learning process and may adapt as needed.

In other action:

*A budget amendment was passed to allow for an increase in revenue, a School Security Equipment Grant for $15,943, and a Go Tech Grant for $133,967. The budget needed to be readjusted due to the increase in revenue, Dean Gilbert, Director of Operations, said.

* The board approved the consent agenda regarding invoices, financial reports, maintenance reports, and overnight field trips.