By guest blogger Erik Robelen
Had enough of winter yet? Recent bouts of extremely cold and snowy weather in many states have led thousands of schools to close their doors, often for days at a time. One rural Ohio district, for instance, already has lost eight regular school days. A Michigan high school has been out of session for seven days so far. In Virginia, most districts have been closed between five and 10 days, a state official reports. And it’s still only the beginning of February.
That’s a lot of lost learning time. While some of those days will surely be made up at the end of the school year, it’s still a major disruption to the flow of instruction.
But not in all schools. In a new Education Week story, we take a closer look at districts, schools, and individual classrooms where snow days have turned into e-learning days.
“It’s much better to have a day of e-learning instruction right now than if we held a makeup day when the weather’s nice,” Shelly Vaughan, the superintendent of the Fort Recovery district in western Ohio, told contributing writer Alyssa Morones. “It’s hard to keep kids focused at that time of year.”
In fact, Ohio, as the story explains, has a new state policy that allows districts to use three “e-learning” days to meet state class-time requirements. And the co-teachers of an Advanced Placement calculus class in Grandville, Mich., are posting assignments, as well as instructional videos, to keep students on track. As one of the teachers noted, the AP exam is already scheduled for May, so students can’t afford to miss a day of instruction in the meantime.
Know of other examples of how schools are turning snow days into a time for learning? Post a comment to let us know.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Time and Learning blog.