Virtual Snow Days

Parker Anderson, Staff Writer

Zoom is now the common high schoolers worst enemy. A lot of people would say snow days are the best because they get to stay home and cozy up in warm pajamas and do nothing all day. Since the district has used a hybrid schedule, a lot of teachers have started using Zoom meetings as a way to communicate with students and sometimes hold classes. Now when there is a snow day, students will probably have to attend zoom meetings and it would not count as a day they would have to make up. 

A big question is will there actually be snow days or if students are just going to do zoom meetings as a replacement, and if students will actually go or not to those meetings. The school can not require anyone to attend any zoom so students can skip zoom classes, but if too many skip, will it still count as a school day, or will they have to make it up in June?

Administration has some answers about how they will go about snow days this year. They could not decide by themselves if remote snow days could happen but the governor did for them. “We have actually received permission from the governor and legislature to have remote school days when there are snow or weather incidents,” superintendent Laura Kacer said. “That is actually very exciting news for us, that we can explore those different options because we have legislative permission for that to be the case. I would imagine that when we get to a situation where we are experiencing an inclimate weather situation, whether that be ice or too cold because of windchill or difficult travel conditions because of snow that we will be looking at communicating to our students that it would be a remote day.”

Since all students use technology for school work remote snow days are possible. Through Edmentum and using iPads students have very easy access to communicating with any teacher or student, and their school work. “We now have the ability to communicate with each other, stay connected, provide instruction, zoom with each other, conference with each other, email with each other, there are so many ways for us to remotely continue to do what we are doing,” Kacer said. “So this year is a really neat experiment to how this is going. Now that does not mean everything in our remote learning is going perfectly. I would be the first person to acknowledge that our first try at this is a little bumpy and there are improvements we can make, we are gathering feedback from students, parents, and teachers, trying to smooth out this experience for everyone. We want to continue to get better at this. It is sort of like riding a bike, the first time you ride the bike you are not fantastic at it. We are practicing, we are getting new better practices in place for us each day.”

Next year, who knows if there is still going to be a global pandemic? Whether or not the district has to stay on a hybrid schedule in upcoming years, remote snow days are always an option. “One of the things we need to focus on now is this year and that we have permission for that to be the case this year,” Kacer said. “If things go well and we continue to refine this remote learning practice, we will advocate that this works. If this continues working we would like to have it as an opportunity for our students but we are going to need to get that permission from the governor and legislator. I can not speak to whether that will happen or not, but what I can speak to is that we are certainly trying to refine our practice, get better at our remote connection, instruction, and learning because there are two pieces to it. The instruction and learning. We have to make sure those things are connecting.”