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Snow Day: Six Tips on Turning a Day Off Into an E-Learning Day

Snow Day: Six Tips on Turning a Day Off Into E-Learning Days

In the northeast, the latest winter storm has left up to three feet of snow in some areas, and New England schools may find themselves closed until regions clean up the roads. Some school administrators, however, were prepared for this and have found a way to end snow days for good. 

So says Rachel Burger, who offers six steps to turn snow days into e-learning days in her article on eschoolnews.com.

"E-learning brings massive benefits to any school district," Burger wrote. "They have the potential to save schools lots of money—buses don’t need to be deployed extra days at the end of the year, the school building doesn’t need additional heating, and hourly staff have the day off. Online learning also helps teachers reduce their stress load. It provides a predictable avenue for educators to budget their curriculum goals with available teaching days. Finally, e-learning days provide students with academic consistency and predictability, eliminating any snow day confusion."

According to Burger, e-learning is becoming popular, and 27 states offer online classes and "2 states [along with the District of Columbia] offer full-time virtual schools —as many as one million children in K-12 are already participating in these programs."

"While relying on the internet to facilitate e-learning days is realistic for a strong majority of school districts, it could still mean abandoning one-in-five students nationwide," Burger wrote. "Perhaps that’s why Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the only states to provide e-learning options for their public schools to date. Indiana’s Department of Education requires that all districts participating in e-learning days “can prove all students and teachers have the ability to access the Internet when they are away from the school building.” Indiana has several other standards for teachers and students, including requirements for IEPs, and acts as a great reference that can be consulted nationwide."

One "simple step" Burger offers is to "check with your state legislators and teachers’ unions about school day minimums and allowable teaching hours."

"Make sure that, legally, e-learning days are a possibility for your district," she wrote.

Another step is to "pick out the best learning management system for your school—ideally one that syncs with your school administration software," Burger wrote.

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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