Many Tri-State schools not utilizing e-learning in place of snow days
CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) - With snow expected across the Tri-States over the next few days, schools will make the decision on whether or not to be in session.
Although e-learning is now an option in replacement of a traditional snow day, many districts are choosing to cancel, rather than supplement learning styles.
Illinois state law allows schools up to five e-learning days per school year, and Missouri state law allows up to 36 hours of AMI (alternative methods of instruction) after a district submits its plans.
While it’s not uncommon to see students as young as third grade with a laptop in school, Carthage Elementary Superintendent Dustin Day said education should remain in the classroom.
“When you talk about e-learning days, I cannot guarantee that there’s somebody with that child when they’re sitting at home, I can’t guarantee that person is available to help them,” Day said.
Carthage Elementary School District does not implement e-learning days. Instead, emergency days are worked into the school calendar.
Beginning on April 21 through the end of the school year, there won’t be school on Fridays. In the event a snow day is used, students will make up that day on those empty Fridays.
Day said there’s too many questions surrounding technology, additionally he’s concerned with the strain e-learning puts on parents and teachers.
He said the pandemic uncovered these flaws.
“Did we have the outcome that we wanted when they were at home? What we felt as a district was the outcome was not there. Yes they did learn, but what type of learning did they actually get,” Day added.
In a school district more than 10 times the size of Carthage Elementary, Quincy Public Schools have the same take.
“[There’s] lots of variables that we might miss with those students and making up a day at the end of the year is a better option for us,” QPS Superintendent Todd Pettit said.
Being a larger district, Pettit said e-learning puts them at a disadvantage and doesn’t plan on incorporating e-learning in place of snow days for the foreseeable future.
Confirmed school districts that do use e-learning days in place of traditional snow days are Illini West, West Prairie and Macomb School District.
To see what schools are closed, click here.
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