First FIDs Use at Jefferson-Morgan

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(Credit Via Pixabay)

As of the 2019-2020 school year the Jefferson-Morgan school district has been approved by the PA Department of Education to use (up to) five “FIDs” (Flexible Instruction Days). The first FID of the 2019-2020 school year happened on February 7, 2020.

On a FID, students will be expected to complete assigned activities and assignments that teachers will provide them with. The students will have from 10:00am-2:00pm on the day of the FID to email teachers about any questions. As in accordance with the Jefferson-Morgan guidelines, students will have five days to make up the work assigned on this day and once it is completed the grade will be entered into the MMS grade book.

This program has many positives that come with it, one being that students will not have to make up snow days. Also, if a student is behind in that class this gives the student an ample amount of time to make up any unfinished work. Finally, students can look ahead on Google Classroom or in their packet to see what needs to be done – they can finish it ahead of time and have an actual free day when school is cancelled.

This program does have some faults though; in a school district with nearly 50% of the students facing poverty, it is likely that not all families may have access to the internet outside of school. Due to this many students might not be able to actually complete their work; without an actual class period dedicated to helping students get their work done, even fewer will be able to manage their time well enough to complete their assignments. Were these grades for bonus instead of a required grade it would be beneficial to students who need the help and have the resources but would not harm students on the cusp of failing without access.

Beginning the FIDs was a good idea, however there are more issues that are brought about by doing these. In this case, most of the school would benefit from just having normal snow days. Unless Jefferson-Morgan schedules a 45-50 minute study hall instead of only 30 minutes, many students will not be able to complete their assigned work. The Flexible Instruction Day on February 7 of the 2019-2020 school year was a good trial run, however continuing into the future these days should be avoided as best as possible.