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‘NTI day’ meaning explained as snow disrupts Kentucky schooling

Bruno Cooke January 6, 2022
Winter Storm Brings Icy Conditions To Louisville, Kentucky
Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images

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Kentucky governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency last weekend as severe weather threatened much of the state, and now up to three inches of snow is expected in Louisville. As a result, numerous schools are implementing, or seriously considering, NTI days – but what is the meaning of an NTI day for schools, kids, teachers and parents?

‘NTI day’ meaning explained

NTI stands for Non-Traditional Instruction. So an NTI day means a day during which kids learn in non-traditional ways. 

It doesn’t mean a day off. Or coming up with your own activities – at least, not for Logan County Schools. 

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Louisville, Kentucky, USA – August 9, 2015: Photograph of arched sign at the entrance to campus at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Sign located at the intersection of Easter Parkway and South 3rd Street.

According to LCS’ briefing on NTI days, and what they mean for students and parents, non-traditional instruction means students will still have assignments. 

These could be online or in paper packets, presumably distributed preemptively. Rather than cover new material, such assignments will “provide review opportunities and application of previous learning”. 

In other words, for students, it means going over old material. For parents, it means making sure your child has access to the internet, or the necessary physical materials. 

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What do NTI days mean for school teachers and administrators?

For LCS, at least, teachers and staff “will report to school from 9am until 3pm on NTI days” – as long as weather permits.

It may be easier to disseminate materials digitally if teachers are on site.

But if teachers and staff are unable to travel safely to schools during NTI days, they should instead “be easily accessible via telephone, email, or other options”.

Are all snow days automatically NTI days in Kentucky?

No. School districts participating in the Non-Traditional Instruction program, per the Kentucky Department of Education website, receive a waiver for “up to 10 NTI days to be included in the district calendar”.

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Not all Kentucky schools are automatically enrolled in the NTI program. They have to complete a “diagnostic” called the Continuation Of Learning Plan (CLP) and be evaluated by a committee before receiving the waiver necessary to implement NTI days.

Weather-related closures appear to have caused significant disruption to Kentucky school districts before the NTI program came into effect.

The program began as a pilot in 2011, then as a statewide program in the 2014-15 school year. It expanded to all school districts in response to the covid-19 pandemic, but reverted to its stated statutory guidelines in the fall of 2021.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.