Gouverneur schools plan to go remote on next 'snow day'

Mar. 5—GOUVERNEUR — The Gouverneur Central School District has exhausted all of its emergency days for the 2022-23 school year, and they'll switch to remote learning if any additional days are needed.

Schools are required to provide 180 days of instruction and, in most cases, they build extra days into the calendar that can be used as emergency days. The St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services calendar has built 185 days into the 2022-23 calendar, with five days that can be used for emergencies. Six emergency days have been built into the 2023-24 regional calendar.

Gouverneur Central School District Superintendent Jacquelyn L. Kelly shared the news about remote learning in a letter to families.

"As you know we used our fifth and final snow day on Friday, February 17, 2023. If we are required to utilize additional snow days during this school year, fully remote instruction will be implemented in place of a traditional snow day," she said.

The Department of Education had previously authorized a "snow day pilot" program during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, allowing districts to deliver instruction remote on days when they would otherwise have closed because of an emergency. In the 2020-21 school year, 126 districts reported using the program, which was extended to the 2022-23 school year.

Ms. Kelly said they would use ParentSquare, the district's notification system and television stations to announce delays, cancellations, remote learning days, and other district emergencies. When a decision is made to close school, all other after-school activities scheduled are also cancelled.

She said, if they're required to switch to remote learning, students in pre-kindergarten, New Beginnings, kindergarten, and grades one and two would be expected to complete a "Remote Snow Day" packet. Classroom teachers will provide directions for completing the packet.

Students in grades three through 12 are expected to virtually attend class on a two-hour delay schedule.

"Classroom teachers have shared expectations with students so they know how to log in and complete work," Ms. Kelly said.

If students switch to remote learning, the daily schedule for grades three through 12 will mimic that of a typical two-hour delay in the school day. Elementary students in grades three and four will start at approximately 10:50 a.m. Middle school students will start at approximately 9:30 a.m. and finish at 2:35 p.m. High school students will start at approximately 9:30 a.m. and finish at 2:18 p.m.

Daily attendance will be taken for all elementary students, while period attendance will be taken for middle and high school students.

Students in grades three through 12 will use Chromebooks provided by the district during remote instruction. Remote instruction can include synchronous instruction that's provided through digital video-based technology like Zoom or Google Meet, as well as asynchronous instruction, when students are required to practice their work independently. Teachers will determine the type of instruction based on the needs and age of the students they're instructing.