Fort Gibson Students Learn From Home When Snow Cancels Class
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma - While dozens of school districts were using snow days Monday, students in one district were still learning, even though they're not at school.
Instead of being on campus, they're using technology for a virtual learning day.
Like many districts across the area, snow is keeping students away from Fort Gibson schools. But they won't lose a day of instruction.
Fort Gibson used its first, "virtual learning day," where students go online to get their lessons and do the work at home.
Derald Glover, the Fort Gibson Superintendent said, "We feel that kids could be at home watching TV or in bed, or they could be working on something productive."
Teacher Britton Nevitt recorded a lesson which is uploaded to a system called My Big Campus. Students at home can then download the lessons. They can text, email or message if they need help.
"My kids just log on and keep going, just like they were in class," Nevitt said.
Fort Gibson tested the system a few weeks ago. It's the type of blended learning colleges have used for years.
"At our high school we're a trimester school, Trimester schedules run five periods a day, 12 week semesters, so one day is about a day and a half at any other school. So when we miss a day of school, we miss a lot of school," Glover said.
Glover said the virtual days are used sparingly, and they're not as good as having students in the classroom. But with set-in-stone mandated state testing, a virtual education day is better than losing a day that can't be made up before the tests.
"My kids can't afford to miss any days before that test, so this keeps them on schedule and doing their lessons everyday so that we're ready to go when we test next week," Nevitt said.
Packets with the same material are sent out ahead of time to students who don't have high speed Internet access, so they can get the same instruction.