E-learning offers alternative on snow days

Weather Stories

(WISH Photo)


You wake up early, check the bottom of the screen wishing and hoping for break from homework and classrooms.

Gone are the days of sledding and building a snowman with friends on canceled school days for many school districts. Most now require students to work from homes … yes, homework on snow days.

Making the decision to delay or cancel schools looks the same for most districts.

Storm Track 8 spoke with Indianapolis Public Schools spokeswoman Carrie Cline Black. “It is a team effort so our chief operations officer and transportation director assess the situation then our director will make a call to our superintendent and offer his recommendation and then she makes the final determination.”

“In IPS, we do not have e-learning days. Our district is not in the position to have the funding to give every student a computer to go home with and we can’t guarantee that our students have access to a computer or to internet, so we don’t have e-learning days.”

However, for so many students across the state, including students who attend Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Southern Hancock Schools and Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School , a snow day means logging in online instead of walking into the classroom.

At Brebeuf Jesuit, administrators decide to call a snow day before 5:30 a.m. Teachers then have two hours to get their e-leaning lessons ready. Students are then required to go online to complete the coursework for the day.

Jen LaMaster, assistant principle at Brebeuf, said, “We call an e-learning day. That means school that would have happened brick-and-mortar goes online. We have a learning management system for every class so that any class that would meet that day would have some sort of context of where are we today’. Here’s what I’d like you to work on, and here’s your expectations for when we come back to school.'”

Although many of us have great memories of lounging at home and having snowball fights on snow days, some of the students and teachers Storm Track 8 spoke with enjoy having a little fun but getting a little work done when school is canceled due to weather.

“But the students will report that they are home, they can do it self-paced. Most of them looking at the data. They wake up about 10:30-11, do a little bit and then take a break. They still go sledding. They still have hot chocolate. They still roast marshmallows if they have a fireplace. But it does keep things moving so that when they come back to school, it’s not like this overabundance of work that they have to do or lost vacation day.”

Meg Baxter is a senior at Brebeuf said she actually kind of likes e-learning days. “I feel like if we didn’t have e-learning days, I would sit watching movies or on my phone and I just really wouldn’t get anything done. But I only like them when I’m getting meaningful work, I guess, because in some of my classes I get busy work, which is kind of annoying because it ends up taking as much time as a normal school day. But for the classes that I actually feel like I’m getting meaningful work in, it’s really nice to be able to come back and not have missed a beat or anything.”

For many schools including Brebeuf, calling an e-leaning day instead of a snow day means that students won’t have to add days to the end of the school calendar.

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