Frederick Co. students expected to have up to 3 virtual learning days for inclement weather

Students in Frederick County, Maryland, are expected to have up to three virtual learning days in the event of inclement weather for the remainder of the school year.

The virtual learning days will be asynchronous, meaning there won’t be live instruction by teachers and students will complete tasks independently.

School system officials will consider the possibility of an asynchronous day based on the forecast 24-48 hours before an anticipated storm, according to school system documents. Schools will still be closed on the first snow day of each school year.

The school board is scheduled to receive an update on the county’s plan for inclement weather on Wednesday night but doesn’t have to take action on the plan, school system spokesman Brandon Oland said.

The plan for asynchronous days, Oland said, prevents additional school days from having to be added to the end of the academic year due to full closures for bad weather.

State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury approved the county’s plan in November.

The asynchronous days, Oland said, differ from traditional virtual learning. Students will be given assignments either on paper or digitally, but can complete them on their own time. Teachers will be available on the phone or for a virtual meeting.

Families and county staff will be notified about the possibility of using an asynchronous virtual learning day at least a day before a storm is expected, according to a school system presentation. Elementary school students will be given Chromebooks at least a day before a storm, and staff members will speak to students about plans for the asynchronous virtual day before the inclement weather.

A county flyer says the learning at home days will limit disruption to learning and “keep students connected to learning in the event of an inclement weather closure.”

In Fairfax County, Virginia, the first five inclement weather days this year are traditional snow days. Then, additional snow days may be unscheduled virtual learning days with live teaching.

Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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