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Implement and maintain successful e-learning days

Annie Schoenfelt, vice president of the Valparaiso Teachers Association and Red For Ed Committee chair, provided guidance on how her school district implemented e-learning days. Those days transitioned into months during the pandemic and school building closures.

Schoenfelt’s advice suggests where to begin discussing future short or long-term e-learning. Use this as a guide to implement some best practices into your e-learning. Without knowing what school will look like in the coming year, it is vital local associations are engaged on this topic with administration.

There are three things that have made our district successful in e-learning.


It’s so important for the planning stage to be a team effort! In my district, it was spearheaded by a group of classroom teachers, technology integration coaches and administration (with a lot of communication with our teachers’ association). Years before we started e-learning, our group was using the resources from the Indiana Department of Education to plan our implementation. Planning may be the most important step, because you can always circle back to it.


In our planning discussions, we knew that teacher buy in and training was vital to successful and meaningful e-learning days. We were lucky enough to have a team of technology integration coaches (who have since transitioned to instructional coaches) who were able to methodically train our teachers on our learning management system, Canvas. Throughout implementation, coaches worked with teachers to create engaging and authentic lessons for students.


E-learning is an ongoing discussion with students, families, teachers and administration. Before we implemented, we hosted multiple community question and answer sessions. After each e-learning day, administration sends out a survey to families, 6 – 12 grade students and teachers in order to gather data about how long it took to complete assignments, etc. We are constantly working to improve our practice!