Beth Peterson, KYDOE, et al.

  • Districts represented miss an average of 9, 15, and 7 snow days per year.
  • NTI = Non-Traditional Instruction Program
  • Benefits: academic continuity, reducing learning loss, fewer make-up days.
  • Process: districts apply, implement their chosen method of non-traditional instruction, submit documentation of instruction
  • Can get up to 10 days waived at end of year if they’re implementing NTI
  • Application consists of general outline of how they’re doing it: project-based, blended, etc. (though most are technological)
  • One school is kicking off project this Thurs (mid-Novemeber) to get people on board.
  • Documentation submitted in spring; based on documentation, commissioner approves how many make-up days are waived.
  • no days were not approved; schools can use the possibility to leverage participation by teachers and students
  • background: students missing too much school (as many as 15-20 days)
  • NTI is a KY statue (KRS 158.070, section 9)
  • alternative instructional plan includes but is not limited to virtual learning
  • plan must show how teaching and learning will not be negatively impacted
  • one full year of implementation; 14-15 first year when anyone was able to apply; 13 districts with an average size of 3200.
  • 91% of students participated; 98% of teachers participated.
  • Second year number of participating districts has increased to 44.
  • What does NTI look like?
  • Should work / assignments depend on time / length or engagement? Wanted to avoid worksheets, etc. Music teacher had orchestra perform individually, something he didn’t ever get to hear.
  • Teachers had to be available for a full day-ish to be available for questions.
  • Superintendent declares a snow day an NTI day; different supers approach this differently: one district did them as early / as quickly as possible; another said that they wouldn’t use them until at least day 5 or 6.
  • Year 1, plans were made in advance and posted for students to refer to and focused more on enrichment; teachers this year want content to be more timely.
  • Accountability: turnaround time = about a week for elementary; required teachers to give authentic feedback rather than just a check off.
  • Attendance isn’t taken; it’s a participation vs. attendance. So no attendance is taken but participating is charted from a grade standpoint. From the state’s standpoint, the participation rate is compared to the average attendance rate. ADA (average daily attendance) is granted for the NTI day from the previous year’s attendance.
  • Many of the snow days occur in stretches (3, 4, 5 days in a row) and not every day off is an NTI day. [This is very different from us; those 2, 3 day stretches are off because of a few inches; it is rare that we have more than one day off in a row, no matter how much snow, with two days in a row being a blizzard rarity.]
  • KY is a right-to-work state; only 10 or so have unions, none in the 13 and unknown whether they are in the 44.
  • Support staff involvement was district-by-district. Some examples are: aides would do PD; secretaries would remotely answer phones; in most cases prinicipals would determine a work plan with individuals. In one district, the only ones who didn’t get a work day were maintenance who couldn’t get to school [I guess they didn’t sleep there, like ours do].
  • One district gave support staff a series of options for make-up days, i.e. they had the snow days off but had to make the day up elsewhere, and the school, with great flexibility, had them in many cases offset work that had to be done over the summer.
  • State asked for (documentation): percentage of student and teacher participation; what were the duties; what were the learning outcomes of each day. State admits there’s no good way to track learning outcomes. Got a lot of sample lesson plans, student work. State ultimately expects schools to have documentation for everyone / a majority but state asked for samples rather than everything, with the possibility of an audit in place.
  • State walked through one school and most illuminating was when they asked students what it was like.
  • From state standpoint the accountability for NTI days is much greater than on non-NTI days, when only attendance is required.
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