The Delaware Valley Regional High School District is piloting an exciting new initiative – Distance Learning Days (DLDs). A DLD will take the place of what would otherwise have been an emergency, included 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 is very common in the corporate or post-secondary education worlds, and 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 piloting 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 where the weather is inclement enough to close the school, but students and teachers still have power and internet connectivity. Our process has been field-tested and we are very excited by the results. On January 6, 2020, the Board of Education authorized the use of up to three (3) Distance Learning Days to be utilized at the discretion of the administration. In the upcoming days, your son/daughter will receive instructions on the implementation of DLDs, including the use of the student learning management system (Canvas) conferencing feature.