Snow days could be a thing of the past in some school districts

A Minnesota school district is considering a novel plan for its students on days when school is called off because of a snowstorm: Kids would have to go to school anyway.

Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton school district is considering requiring students to attend class online from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the Janesville Argus.

There aren’t many barriers to implementing the plan, the school superintendent says, because last year every kid was given a Chromebook.

Flexible learning days were implemented this year in the St. Peter school district, which got a chance to try the idea out with school cancellations in February. Early reactions expressed at a St. Peter School Board meeting were positive.

At JWP, a firm plan will have to be developed by a team of staff members who would bring both a teacher and a parent’s perspective to how it would work.

“We can’t expect students to complete six and a half hours of instruction at home on the computer and do homework,” [school superintendent Bill] Adams said. “That’s just not likely to happen.”

Activities during the day could be a revised version of what might have been covered in class. For example, students could be required to watch a video and do a quick assessment.

Adams also said that this could be an authentic learning experience for students that is another piece of the district’s college and career readiness goals, as communicating and learning through webinars is a current reality.

Under state law, however, the days spent online don’t count toward the required days that schools are required to hold classes.