Williamson County Schools approves ‘flex’ days for asynchronous learning

(Courtesy Fotolia)
(Courtesy Fotolia)

(Courtesy Fotolia)

To help give teachers more time to plan for online, in-person and remote learning this year, Williamson County Schools will implement eight asynchronous days for all K-12 students in the 2020-21 school year.

The days were approved with 10 votes from the WCS Board of Education during its Oct. 19 meeting, with board member Dan Cash abstaining from the vote.

The asynchronous days, also called “flex” days will include all students working from home with assignments while teachers use the days to plan, collaborate and learn about new learning platforms and requirements.

Staff members as well as representatives from the Williamson County Education Association spoke in support of the flex days to allow teachers more time to catch up and find best strategies.

“This is a big lift and this is a big request. I want [the board] to know that and I want our families to know that. It’s unusual, it’s outside the box. It’s not something that we would request under ordinary times,” Golden said during the meeting. “I’m convinced that that additional time will ultimately result in a net positive for students because of the quality instruction, because of lesson plans because of teachers being able to get together and find ways to use pedagogy ... which is in essence, ways to teach.”

The district held a pilot asynchronous day for middle and high school students Sept. 17.

While the board also considered an amendment to allow elementary school students to have some asynchronous half-days instead of full days, that amendment failed 8-3.

WCS students with disabilities that require instructional assistance will still be allowed to learn on-campus. Additionally, the district is working to provide additional child care opportunities and plans for distributing meals, Golden said.

The approved flex days are below. The district had initially proposed Oct. 23 as one of the days, but removed it before approving. All flex days are on Fridays.

  • Nov. 13

  • Dec. 4

  • Jan. 15

  • Jan. 29

  • Feb. 5

  • Feb. 26

  • March 12

  • March 26

By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.