Speech Tournament Leads to Virtual Day for Students

Katie Lins, Design Editor

  Wayzata High School will be hosting the Minnesota State Speech Tournament on Friday, April 12th. Students will have a “virtual day” on Friday instead of attending school.
  “The digital day will be expected of all students. All teachers will be providing a valuable lesson to engage with their students outside of school,” said Associate Principal Tyler Shepard. “It will likely be done on Canvas and there will be a method of attendance through it, to make sure students are engaging.”
  Senior Speech Captain Nitya Dandu said, “There will be a lot of people coming to watch the speech tournament. The final rounds are pretty stacked since there are no ‘nationals’ after finaling at state, so it’s a pretty big deal.”
  According to Shepard, Wayzata High School will also be hosting the Minnesota State Speech Tournament next year, 2020.
  “We have professional development with teachers on March 28th and a lot of that time is going to be spent providing the support for teachers to develop this day,” said Shepard. “PLC stands for ‘Professional Learning Community’ and an example of this would be all of the teachers who teach 10th grade geometry. They plan together and collaborate on an experience for students and then shared amongst their classes. This could be an option for the virtual day.”
 “I anticipate that the digital day will be handled the same as a regular school day. Students will be expected to attend and if they don’t attend the digital day, they will be marked absent,” said Shepard.
  For future school years, Shepard says, “Virtual days could be one of the options for future snow days.”
  Shepard said, “It’ll be a unique opportunity because we’ve missed a few days already. It could also just be a fun experience that relates to the curriculum in the class.”
  “Lesson formats will be up to the teacher and our technology team will be supporting them with some of those ideas,” said Shepard. “Our expectations for that is that it’s an engaging experience so that students find it beneficial and relevant to what they are learning in class.”
  Dandu stated, “The tournament is structured with three preliminary rounds and then a final round for each category. Then after finals, there is an awards ceremony.”