Snow days may be replaced with e-learning days in Minnesota.
Under a bill being considered in the state legislature, schools would have the option to offer students online lessons during inclement weather.
School boards across the state would have to agree to each district’s e-learning plan. Teacher representatives for each school would also have to sign on. Charter school administrators would be allowed to adopt e-learning days after consulting with their teachers. Each school could have up to five e-learning days a year, and those days would count as instructional days.
Schools would need to have several things in place in order to implement e-learning days. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Teachers available either online or by telephone during normal school hours
- Accommodations for students without Internet access at home
- Digital device access for families without the technology or enough technology
- Accessibility for students with disabilities
- Notification to parents and students two hours prior to the regular school start time
Schools would also have to notify parents and students about their e-learning day plan at the beginning of the academic year.
Republican State Rep. Steve Drazkowski sponsored the bill. He told WCCO in Minnesota that his plan wouldn’t take away all the fun of snow days, but it would represent a change in the state’s culture.
"(Students) may have something related to climate and snow,” Drazkowski said. “There still may be some snowmen being made but there may be some school work that’s based around that experience.”
Other states and individual districts and schools have experimented with online learning on snow days. Laws similar to the one proposed in Minnesota are already on the books in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Time and Learning blog.