Virtual Snow Days


Jeneva Craig, Reporter

Snow days have changed, and it has had many effects on students and teachers. Alternate Method of Instruction days have been in the works for a while now, but the virtual snow day schedule is a new plan which has been implemented this year. Students and teachers have classes through Google Meets for 40 minutes.

Since this type of instruction was new, teachers had to find a way to make their lessons applicable to students. Biology teacher Sasha Krough had to plan to make her classes work over video call.

“Most of the work I gave out was already on Canvas, so the Google Meets were mostly about giving out information and checking for understanding of the concepts,” said Krough.

During virtual snow days, students were expected to be present to all of their classes. They would participate in discussions over classwork and check in over how they were progressing in their assignments. Freshman Baiden Coble explains how his classes worked during the virtual snow days.

“Not much happened during our meets, the teachers really only took attendance or just went over the assignment we had to do and then we were let go for the rest of class,” said Coble.

AMI school days were introduced to the school district to lessen the chance of extending the school year past May. By introducing virtual snow days, the district can count the day as a normal school day and not have to tack it onto the end of the school year. This is a relief to many because the school year won’t run into summer school or summer jobs. Principal Steven Miller was excited for a plan which relieves much of the stress when the district lengthens the school year.

“There was a lot of motivation to go to virtual school days before Covid-19 hit. The school year was going way past Memorial Day. By doing this, we could have school and not have to make up days at the end of the school year. There are so many things that we run into, so by having this type of schedule we don’t have to worry about this problem,” Miller said.

Many students and teachers have looked for the positives in this plan. Teachers and students alike are appreciative of the idea of not adding to the end of the school year, but people have noticed some issues with the schedule. Krough has thought of some ideas to improve the virtual snow day.

“Make the snow day be an asynchronous work day. With little time between classes, there really isn’t enough time for students to get work done before the next class. The students can enjoy the snow day, but also get work done on their own time,” Krough said.

Though the new snow days have the helpful benefit of not adding on to the end of the school year and continuing learning from home, students may miss the aspect of getting a small break from school, playing in the snow, or sleeping in. Coble misses the incentives of the original snow day.

“I miss not having to wake up at a set time. I had the chance to have a break and recharge,” said Coble.

AMI days will be used in the future, and they have their benefits. Though people may not love school from a screen, the district is pleased knowing the planned date to release school will not change. Miller understands the pros and cons of virtual snow days.

“It is hard to consider the cons during this type of year, but it has been hard to have the students be engaged and be able to instruct our students with the same veracity, but having the schedule look the same outweighs the conflicts,” Miller said.

Even though snow days have changed, teachers have found this alternative is useful. Teachers are still able to give lessons to students and have communication through the screen. Krough states why she wants to see these types of snow days in the future.

“I’d like the planned last day of school to be the last day of school. If the learning can continue from home, I think we should take advantage of that,” Krough said.

This year has brought about many changes and with that snow days have gone virtual, but looking at the positives over this change is very important. These AMI days have shown learning can still happen at home even if there has to be modifications.