Flexible Instructional Day (FID) Program is a tool available to public school entities to be used as an alternate approach to delivering instruction if a circumstance arises that prevents instruction in customary manner. With the passage of Act 64 of 2019, section 1506 was added to the Public School Code. Public school entities now have the opportunity to develop a Flexible Instructional Day program, enabling the public school entities to meet the 180 instructional day requirement of section 1501. The FID program may be online, offline, or a combination of the two.
FIDs are intended to support public school entities in cases when circumstances (i.e. a disease epidemic, a hazardous weather condition, a law enforcement emergency, the inoperability of school buses or other equipment necessary to the public school entity’s operation, damage to a school building, or a temporary circumstance rendering any portion of a school building unfit or unsafe for use) prevent the delivery of instruction in its customary manner or location. If the public school entity chooses to implement a FID program, the number of flexible instructional days may not exceed five (5) days per school year.
In order to implement a FID program, it must be approved by the local School Board of Directors prior to acceptance by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The Southern Columbia Area School District Board of Education approved the District’s FID plan on August 19, 2019. On Octrober 7, 2019 the District received notification from PDE that its application has been accepted. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has given the District permission to operate a FID program for the next three years, through the 2021-2022, school year.

FID Requirements

Step One

Report your attendance using the FID Attendance Form located in Sapphire. A link to the Attendance Form will be posted the morning of each FID and will expire at 11:59 PM that evening.
  • All students in grades 5 to 12 must log on to the Sapphire Community Web Portal using their Student Account and complete the FID Attendance Form.
  • Parents of students in grades K to 4 must log on to the Sapphire Community Web Portal using their Parent Account and complete the FID Attendance Form on behalf of their children.
  • In the event you do not have internet access, attendance must be telephoned in to the Main Office of the school you attend. Please follow this script in reporting your attendance. This is (state your first and last name). I am a student in grade ( state the grade you’re in). I am calling in to report my attendance for the Flexible Instructional Day of (state the date). Parents calling in on behalf of their children should adapt the script so it applies to a parent calling in. Parents with children in multiple schools must report their child’s attendance to the school of each child. The telephone numbers to report attendance are: G.C. Hartman Elementary (570) 356-3250; Middle School (570) 356-3400; High School (570) 356-3454
  • In the event internet or telephone service is not available during a Flexible Instructional Day, parents are required to send a note in to their child’s school the next school day explaining what their child did to complete the FID requirements. This step must be completed in order for the child to receive credit for school attendance.
  • If a child is sick on a FID, parents must send an excuse note to their child’s school just as they would on a regular school day.
  • FIDs will count toward truancy proceedings. If attendance is not recorded by one of the above means, the student will be marked with an unexcused absence.
The form above will be used on a FID day to record attendance. A link to the form will appear in the Sapphire Community Web Portal the morning of a FID. For Middle School and High School students (grades 5-12) the link will appear in Sapphire’s Student Portal. The attendance link will appear in the Parent Portal for Elementary School students (kindergarten through grade 4).

Step Two

Complete the assignments posted in your Sapphire Student Portal and/or telephoned home to you on the morning of the FID.
  • Students in grades K-5 (Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade) will receive their FID assigment through a telephone message sent by a teacher in your child’s grade. For example, one of the Kindergarten teachers will contact all students enrolled in Kindergarten with that day’s FID assignments. The telephone message will be recorded by the teacher and sent using SchoolMessenger.
  • Students in grades 6-12 will log onto their Sapphire Student Portal for instructions on completing that day’s FID assignments.
  • All work is expected to be completed during the FID. It may be submitted electronically or turned in the next day per the directions of each teacher..
  • Students who are ill during a FID or who can not access or complete the assignment due to a power outage, internet outage and/or similar problems that may occur during inclement weather, have two school days following the FID to submit FID assignments.

Step Three

Contact your teacher via e-mail if you have questions about your FID assignment. Each teacher’s e-mail is listed on the Staff Directory of  the District website.
  • Teachers are available to answer questions regarding the FID assignment from 9:00 AM until 12 noon and from 1:00-3:00 PM during each Flexible Instructional Day.
  • Students can also call their teacher’s classroom telephone number and leave a voice message with their question(s). While teachers will check their voice messages throughout the day, feedback can only be provided via e-mail or through an existing classroom message board.