Online Survey Raises Snow Day Questions

Students anxiously stare at their phones, hoping to see the email of their dreams, a snow day.

The School board has yet to approve the e-learning days and it remains only a concept to be debated.

“My understanding is it was the central office considering the possibility of e-learning days in the future when we would have a snow day.” Mr. Craig Bruns, assistant principal, said.

Mr. Matthew Hockersmith, Science Teacher, uses Canvas and thinks that e-learning snow days are coming up in the admin decision forecast.

“We’re definitely going towards e-learning days. We are not losing any instructional time as I can throw some videos up there and the students can kind of learn the material on their own and then we can kind of talk about it when we return back to class. I definitely feel that would also prepare you guys more for the college scene as it shifts more towards like when you guys go off to college.”

The advantages outweigh the disadvantage.

“The advantage,” Principal Todd Garrison said “would be no make-up days would be necessary and students get exposure to the online curriculum.”

One teacher even set up a sort of online classroom for studying purposes.

“In my honors and regular chemical class we use Canvas a lot. With honors the students get their homework off of Canvas. The students also take a picture of their homework and then submit it on Canvas as well. I use it a lot for file organization for students. Where they can go in and look at any material throughout the course of the class. In honors I do it a bit more where I have a flipped classroom scenario where I teach it in class I also set up a mini classroom on Canvas where the students can go home and self-study.”

Not all students have access to internet and devices at home; the survey was sent out to gauge the percentage of students in that predicament.

“I think they’re just trying to gain an understanding of what students have available at home,” Mr. Bruns said.

There will also be students who will refuse to do the assigned work.

“There are kids who will not do the work assigned on a snow day,” junior Edward Simpson said. “They will say they didn’t know about it, but it is a good thing for kids who don’t want to fall behind in their studying”

Mr. Hockersmith uses tech like canvas to teach, assign and grade homework, and tests.

“Using Canvas makes teaching a lot easier. We use a lot of in class like submitting homeworking and doing quizzes on there and certainly shifting towards doing tests on there. It definitely makes the behind the scenes work like grading and sorts of things like that, it definitely cuts down on the time it takes for that, but there is a downside to that like it takes a lot of time to setup but once it is setup you can use it from year to year.”

A lot of maintenance is needed to keep these canvas pages up, much more than the average student may expect.

“There is a lot of behind the scenes work we have to do ahead of time but once it is set up it is good to go. Ideally one could teach from it but I don’t personally think the students should get everything from it. It should be more used like a resource from time to time with instructional time as well.”

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