FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Are students going to have to say goodbye to snow days and hello to e-Learning?
A favorite childhood memory for many is waking up on a snow day and seeing the news alert that your school is closed. However with the pandemic and e-learning becoming a huge aspect of education, those days might just be a thing of the past.
According to school districts in Allen County, with e-Learning becoming more prevalent, schools are using this instead of a snow day.
Fort Wayne Community Schools’, public information officer, Krista Stockman told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that she noticed mixed reactions. On one hand some people are sad that e-Learning is replacing snow days while others are happy that the school year won’t extend into the summer.
“With the pandemic we have learned a lot since August about remote learning,” Stockman said. “It’s a way to keep that learning going without having the interruptions that we used to have in the winter.”
Due to state requirements, districts now have to complete 180 days out of the school year, resulting in schools scheduling makeup days.
“In East Allen County, the administrators do look at how many e-learning days we’ve had in a row,” said Andra Komoski, President of East Allen Educator Association. “If they get to a certain point, then they will have just a snow day.”
Some parents expressed concerns with schools doing away with snow days.
On WANE 15’s Facebook page, viewers commented that they believe students should enjoy the day off and that taking away the snow days makes it harder for parents who have to work.
“We understand it’s a difficult position for a parent to be in, trying to make work happen as well as your student’s work happen, and making sure they stay on task. But I think it also reinforces the value and importance that teachers have in the community,” said Lizette Downey, chief Information officer for Northwest Allen County Schools.
“We try to build into the day enough time for kids to go out and not spend too much time in front of the screen. We kept these days different from what we’ve been doing during the pandemic with our e-Learning,” said Dr. Phil Downs, superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools. “The purpose of these [e-Learning] snow days is to keep the ball rolling for us and not lose a day, but at the same time, every kid loves getting up in the morning and seeing snow.”
Courtney Knight is a viewer and day care provider for Mount Calvary Childcare. She feels having a certain amount of days for e-Learning is an okay because she doesn’t want to students to have to extend the school year into the summer, but as a day care provider it can be overwhelming when it comes to staffing purposes.
“I am taking out of my work day as an office manager to help school age children work on their school work and I am also having to pull other staff members for help,” Knight said. “Today I had to ask another teacher for help because we have like six or seven kids. When you have five kindergarteners and two second graders who have to be on zoom meetings at different times, it gets a little stressful.”
Knight added that even though its stressful, teachers at Mount Calvary are doing the best they can and they take the e-Learning serious. She added that they are currently accepting new students.