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School system ready for winter weather closures
Feedback from last year helped hone the process, officials say
WinterWeather 1


* Forsyth County agencies prep for possible snow, ice.

* Winter weather tips, contacts.

FORSYTH COUNTY — If weather woes make a turn for the worst this — or any — week, the Forsyth County school system is ready to roll out its updated online learning plan for closures.

This is the second school year where the calendar doesn’t have any inclement weather days. If school must be closed, students and teachers will use the district’s asynchronous online learning system called itslearning.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a slight chance of a wintry mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet before noon today, with a chance of rain and snow between noon and 1 p.m. before rain is forecast through Friday.

There is also a chance of snow Friday night.

Though this may not affect schools from operating on a normal schedule, district officials said they will remain vigilant throughout the process.

“The superintendent and administrative staff carefully monitor weather conditions during the season for inclement weather,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the system.

A decision to close or delay school is made at the latest by 5:30 a.m. the morning of, she said.

If school is closed, teachers will post all assignments on itslearning by 9 a.m.

Students should begin working on their lessons on the day missed if possible, though they will have three school days to complete assignments upon returning to school. They had five last year.

New this year, student attendance is not connected to the completion of work.

These changes were put into place after the district received feedback from teachers, parents and students. Concerns focused on houses where the power went out or that have several students.

“As with the first year of any program,” Caracciolo said, “we have made improvements and provided additional training for students and staff.”

When school is closed, elementary schools will follow an “A” or “B” schedule to balance the student workload.

An “A” day will consist of English language arts, social students or science, art for kindergarten-second grades and music and PE for third-fifth grades.

A “B” day will encompass math, science or social students, music and PE for kindergarten-second grades and art for third-fifth grades.

Middle and high school students will follow their normal schedule for that day, with students completing lessons for classes they would have attended, whether that be in a seven-period or block day.

Prior to school closing, teachers are expected to communicate with parents and students how to find assignments in itslearning and the mode of communication to use to contact the teacher.

Teachers will hold digital office hours on the days that school is closed.

Elementary office hours will be from 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. on the day school is closed.

Middle and high school hours will be from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m.