The Delaware Valley Regional High School District continues to be a leader in the integration of technology into classroom instruction through the use of Distance Learning Days (DLDs). A DLD may take the place of what would otherwise have been an emergency, including weather-related, school closing. During a DLD, students and staff will experience a school day remotely in their homes. It is essentially a “work from home” day which allows students and staff to utilize online platforms to complete their planned lessons and activities. Additionally, this valuable educational experience will help students become better prepared for post-high school experiences in college and as part of the workforce.
Due to the minimum one hundred eighty (180) days of instruction requirements, it is typically not permissible in the realm of K-12 education in NJ. Board of Education Policy and NJ Administrative Statute and Code dictate, “The Board shall determine annually the days when the school will be in session for instructional purposes. The school calendar will provide no fewer than one hundred eighty days of instruction. Days on which school is closed for holidays, teachers’ institutes, and inclement weather shall not be considered as days in session.” You may have noticed on our school calendar that Del Val provides one hundred eighty-three (183) days of instruction, or three (3) instructional days beyond the legal requirement. As long as Del Val provides the minimum required one hundred eighty (180) instructional days, the district has the discretion to utilize the three (3) additional days as it deems appropriate. Since we have the technological infrastructure, student learning management system, and three (3) school days beyond the required one hundred eighty (180), we find ourselves in the unique position of maintaining this distance learning program.
To reiterate, the distance learning days would allow students to participate in their regularly scheduled classes from home on those days when the weather is inclement enough to close the school, but students and teachers still have power and internet connectivity. Students and staff utilized this method throughout the pandemic and it continues to be a valuable resource in providing instruction when faced with issues that would otherwise make physical school attendance difficult.