WCSD Plans for Distance Learning in Case of Emergency School Closure
If school buildings need to be closed during inclement weather or other emergencies, WCSD will implement a plan for students and staff to engage in Distance Learning.
Here’s how the process will work:
- WCSD schools may take three contingency days during every school year when schools are closed because of a natural disaster, heavy smoke from wildfires, inclement weather, or other emergencies. On these three contingency days, students and staff members are not in class and no instruction is taking place. All three contingency days must be taken before the Distance Learning plan is implemented.
- The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has sent guidance for distance learning. If another emergency situation forces the cancellation of classes for a fourth day (after the three contingency days have been used), students will stay home from school and staff members will engage in professional development to prepare for Distance Learning on that day. This professional development day –when staff members are not working with students -- will not need to be made up at the end of the school year. Guidance specific for Incline Village schools was also provided.
- Per NDE guidance, if more school days are canceled following the professional development day, schools will move to distance learning. When students are engaged in Distance Learning, WCSD will provide free meals for distribution at convenient locations throughout the District.
Due to hazardous weather and air quality, WCSD schools have already used some contingency days during the 2021-22 school year. This chart will be updated as needed:
CONTINGENCY DAYS USED (as of Tuesday, December 14, 2021)
Gerlach school has used 1 contingency day
WCSD schools (in the valley) have used 2 contingency days
Incline Village schools have used 3 contingency days, 1 professional development day, and 1 day of Distance Learning
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Distance Learning allowed?
The Nevada Department of Education has provided guidance to Nevada districts to participate in a Distance Learning (DL) plan that provides continuous learning opportunities in the case of inclement weather or other emergencies when it is not possible for students and staff to safely attend classes in person. DL is not allowed for any other reason (including norovirus or other illness).
When a school anticipates the possibility of Distance Learning for one of these reasons, laptops, iPads, and other devices should be prepared and deployed for potential use by all students. If staff members or a family determines that a student will benefit from the use of a laptop computer, the school will work with the family to ensure the student has the necessary device and adequate internet connectivity. If the family does not have the connectivity, the FCC’s Broadband Benefit program should be suggested. A limited number of hotspots are available on a case-by-case basis from the District’s IT Department.
When students are engaged in Distance Learning, WCSD will provide free meals for distribution at convenient locations throughout the District.
How does Distance Learning work? What learning choices does my student have?
There are a variety of ways in which students can learn and interact with their teachers and peers during Distance Learning:
- Student(s) can view and participate in lessons delivered to the class live via Microsoft Teams
- Student(s) can watch a teacher-recorded lesson and use an online resource or telephone conversation with the teacher to monitor progress
- Teachers may provide daily assignments through an online platform (Microsoft Teams) with feedback provided to the student
- Students may email their teacher or reply to an email sent from their teacher
- Students and teachers may communicate via telephone to discuss learning objectives
- Students may bring home printed materials if they do not have computer access, and discuss their assignments and learning objectives via telephone with their teachers
- If the student does not have access to a computer or a telephone, they may bring home paper assignments and work on them during the distance learning day(s). The students must return completed assignments for each course on the next in-person day following the Distance Learning days, and feedback will be provided to the student by their teacher.
How does the attendance policy work?
- Teachers are required to keep complete and accurate records of student attendance for all classes taught.
- Absences must be reported and submitted in Infinite Campus daily for each session, whether the session is a face-to-face class, online module session, or the student is participating through Distance Learning.
- Elementary level students are expected to participate at least once during the day (or return paperwork) to be counted as present.
- At the middle- and high school levels, students are expected to participate in all their courses (or return paperwork for each) to be counted as present in each course.
- For complete requirements on Attendance Policy and guidelines related to Distance Learning, see WCSD In-Person and Distance Education Attendance Procedures.
I don’t want my student to be counted as absent during Distance Learning. What is required of my student to avoid being marked absent?
A student can be counted as “present” during Distance Learning by participating meaningfully in any of the following:
- An online class session
- An online assignment
- An online discussion
- An online check-in through Infinite Campus assigned by the teacher
- Having a conversation with the teacher electronically (or otherwise) about progress in the course
- Completes an assignment which is returned to the teacher, or
- The student makes regular daily progress in their classwork
When my student is on Distance Learning, what kind of classwork will they bring home?
Here are some examples of schoolwork and lessons for various age groups and grade levels. PLEASE NOTE: Online learning times do not account for the time necessary to complete independent tasks and assignments.
- Kindergarten and 1st grade
- Daily online learning time includes direct instruction for 1.5 hours in 10-20 minute spans
- Examples include:
- 20 min Bridges Number Corner
- 20-30 min phonics/foundational skills
- 20 min. language development (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)
- 10 min read aloud
- 10-20 min Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus
- Grades 2-3
- Daily online learning time includes direct instruction for 2-2.5 hours in 15-20 minute spans
- Examples include:
- 15-20 min whole group reading
- 15-30 minutes small group reading
- 15-20 minutes whole group math
- 15-30 minutes small group math
- 20 minutes language development (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)
- 15-30 minutes Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus
- Grades 4-5
- Daily online learning time includes direct instruction for 2.5 hours in 20-minute spans
- Examples include:
- 20 minutes whole group reading
- 20-30 minutes small group reading
- 20 minutes whole group math
- 20 minutes small group math
- 15 minutes language development (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)
- 20-30 minutes science/social studies
- 20 minutes Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
- Grades 6-12
- Daily online learning time includes direct instruction of 3 hours in 30-minute spans with 15 minutes between sessions
- If a 6-class daily schedule, students would attend each class/session for 30 minutes followed by the assigned independent work for each content area.
- If a block schedule with only 3-4 classes, students would attend the first 30 minutes, work independently, and then re-join for the final 30 minutes in order to have any additional questions and answers.