Friday storm didn’t mean day off for students

Snowplows have been busy this past week. This City of Tracy plow cleared Park St. Sunday afternoon after an overnight snow.

TAPS implements new Virtual Learning Day for first time this school year

By Per Peterson

A little snow and wind wasn’t enough to stop the learning at Tracy Area Public Schools.

For the first time this school year, all students who attend TAPS took part in the district’s first Virtual Learning Day on Friday — a day of learning from home, which is now being used in place of select school days that have been cancelled because of bad weather.

In a Virtual Learning Day, students are tasked with completing learning activities and assignments provided by their teacher at home. Students receive learning activities and assignments for each subject that would have originally taken place during a regular school day.

TAHS Supt. Chad Anderson said Virtual Learning Days are beneficial in many ways and that TAPS was able to experiment with it since it is a 1:1 school where students have their own laptops. Also, if a snow day is turned into a Virtual Learning Day, it counts as a full day on the school calendar, meaning the district doesn’t have to add a day at the end of the year.

“It’s good for learning,” Anderson said. “One of the things we asked is, is it beneficial to add a day in June when we don’t feel a lot of learning takes place? Or, is it better to have a late start, or dismiss students? Sometimes, (snow days) don’t get made up at all.”

Anderson also said students can benefit from Virtual Learning Days because most if not all colleges and universities today assume they have laptops and experience working online.

“How many colleges require students to have laptops?” he said. “They all have some type of remote or virtual learning. We’re giving our kids another opportunity. This is learning — not just parents making sure they’re doing that math homework.”

See this week’s Headlight-Herald for more on this article.