USC district completes pilot stage of flexible learning

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The United South Central School District has just finished the pilot stage of a project that would help students learn when school is closed for snow.

Flexible learning days allowed students in kindergarten through sixth grade to use flex folders, which included assignments related to each grade level’s classroom curriculum in reading, language arts, math and another content area of the teacher’s choice.

Seventh- through 12th-graders learned through Schoology, an online site that houses assignments. Students logged into Schoology accounts and complete assigned learning tasks.

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Teachers were available to address questions via email from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The pilot program was approved by the USC School Board in December and was formed after consultation with school districts that have successfully implemented the program in St. Peter, Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton and Lakeville.

The program was used during snow days last Friday and  Jan. 25.

Revisions to the flex learning option are expected, said USC superintendent Keith Fleming.

Parent feedback is being gathered, and a final decision on whether the school will implement flexible learning days permanently will be made by the school board.

Fleming said flexible learning days were introduced because of the school’s abundance of technology. Flexible learning days address the issue of rescheduling snow days.

Parents expressed concern about assignments lasting longer than anticipated and offered general feedback on how the flex learning day could have been more successful, Fleming said.

“There was a lot of constructive feedback,” he said

Though flexible learning days will never take the place of face-to-face learning, they still serve a purpose, Fleming said.

“To have a couple of flex learning days … I think it’s a huge benefit,” he said.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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