Berea instates NTI days


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This year, the Berea Community School District has implemented a Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) Program, which allows for school instruction to continue when it would otherwise be cancelled for sickness or weather. This allows for the school year to end on time, by not adding makeup days to the end of the calendar. On Non-Traditional Instruction days, students have designated work from each of their teachers that is to be completed and turned in within a certain time frame. If a certain percentage of the student body does not turn in this work, the day must be made up as if it were a regular cancelled school day.

Superintendent Dr. Diane Hatchett said that the amount of days of school missed last year presented an issue in the district. “The biggest concern was the disruption in learning that occurs when school is cancelled without opportunity for continuous learning. Intermittent stopping and starting of school poses a challenge for students and faculty alike,” she said. However, she is optimistic that NTI days will provide both students and teachers flexibility.

Students have mixed feelings about NTI days. Some, like senior Anthony Bryant, enjoy snow days because they provide a break in routine, and like that NTI days still provide that break, while not cutting students off from school completely. Other opinions, such as that of senior Baylor Hill, are that NTI days can be “counterintuitive and unproductive.” This may be because some students may not have the time or motivation to complete their NTI work.

Most faculty members seem to enjoy the prospect of NTI days. Media Specialist and MSHS Librarian Leah Graham said that she “like[s] that we are incorporating NTI days.” High school guidance counselor Eef Fontanez is excited for NTI days: “Hopefully [they] will keep the instructional flow going and allow for a timely end of the school year,” he said.

Teachers have to be available to answer students’ questions via email all day on NTI days. Dr. Diane Hatchett emphasized that “NTI cannot replace a teacher in a classroom. It is meant to provide a continuation of learning, not introduce new learning.” NTI days are simply a tool that is used to provide as complete of an education as possible.

The Berea Independent School District is looking forward to what Non-Traditional Instruction days will provide. We have not yet had a cancelled school day that calls for NTI, but these become more likely in the upcoming cold months that include illness and inclement weather.