Parents and Students,
Johnson County Schools is excited to be one of only thirteen districts in Kentucky who are eligible for "Non-Traditional Instructional (NTI) Days". These NTI Days are a part of a state-wide initiative to help our students from losing valuable instruction time even if we miss a great deal of days due to snow or other emergencies. The purpose of these days is to help prevent students from having their instruction disrupted which often leads to loss of skills. These days will be counted as instructional days; this means that there will be fewer days to be made up at the end of the school year. Therefore, students will be able to enjoy longer summers breaks!
We know and understand that it is important for our children to experience the fun and physical activity that playing in the snow provides. It is important to note that we will not be using a NTI Day on every snow day. The number of NTI Days that we use will depend on the number of snow days that we have. Since we can't predict the weather and we do not know what days or how many days we will miss, we cannot give specific dates for NTI Days. Our plan is to use our first NTI Day after we have missed three (3) days of school (the 4th day). From that point, we will have to be flexible in calling a NTI Day. When determining when to implement one of these days we will look at a number of factors, including number of consecutive days missed, how much snow we have, the condition of the roads, etc.
We will use a variety of methods to communicate that a day will be designated as a NTI Day. As schools are called off for the day, we will announce that the day will be a NTI Day via radio and television stations, Johnson County's web page, and our phone messenger system. As we do with the cancellation of school, we will make these decisions in a timely manner so that each of you will be prepared for the day.
Johnson County Teachers are working with an online program called Edmodo, which is an educational application that can be used to create, post, and grade assignments, as well as communicate with their students concerning questions about assignments. Edmodo is a user friendly program that will be used to manage assignments during NTI Days. Each teacher has or will create classrooms within Edmodo. They are also working to create student accounts for your child.
As soon as the NTI Day has been announced, school staff will begin working to post their class assignments on Edmodo. Our goal is to have all assignments posted by 10:00am on these days. Students will have access to their class assignments and will be able to communicate with teachers via Edmodo or email should they have any questions concerning the assignments. Students will be able to submit their completed assignments on Edmodo.
We realize that there are students who do not have internet access at home. For those students, time will be provided to complete the assignments after school resumes. Students will be given the assignments and will return the completed work to teachers. Teachers will be conducting surveys with your children to get an accurate count of who has internet access and devices at home.
Students can expect to spend from 2.5 - 4 hours of time completing assignments during NTI Days. Students in the primary grades (K-3) will focus on reading and math. Students in grades 4-12 will have assignments in all classes.
It is imperative that every student participate when we have an NTI Day. Even though we have been granted the use of NTI Days, final approval for specific days will come from the Kentucky Department of Education. Part of what KDE will examine when approving days is student participation. Each teacher must keep records of student communication and work completion. We are asking for your support as we begin with this new endeavor. We are very excited and have full confidence that each student and family will work hard to make sure this process is a success! If you have any questions, please call your school or Thom Cochran at the Johnson County Board of Education at 789-2530.
Thank you for your continued support.
Thomas R. Salyer