Remote learning replaces snow days in some Minnesota school districts

Snow days may be a thing of the past thanks to remote learning options.
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:39 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2021 at 7:24 PM CST
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ST. JAMES, Minn. (KEYC) - Snow days may be a thing of the past thanks to remote learning options.

“It’s just a little continuation of what would’ve happened in the classroom today to keep them learning and thinking for the future,” stated Steven Heil, Superintendent at St. James Public School District.

A growing number of districts are opting for online classes instead of traditional weather-related closures.

“We have the opportunity to continue learning when we have emergency situations or when we have inclement weather. Our students, they are continuing to learn, and we feel like that’s really important,” said Jeff Horton, Superintendent at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop School District.

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Students were introduced to remote learning during the pandemic.

Heil mentioned, “We really learned how to work with the technology so learning can continue at home.”

Now, schools are using it to keep kids engaged during inclement weather.

“They may have some online opportunities to engage with the teacher, they may have some assignments, they might have an extension activity,” Horton listed.

E-learning also helps prevent districts from having to makeup missed school days.

“The state allows us to do up to five e-learning days a year. An e-learning day, it counts as a regular school day, so we don’t have to make up days later,” Horton said.

Schools are providing extra accommodations to minimize screen time and get kids outside.

Horton said, “Instruction looks a little different online than it does in the classroom, but we’re still able to enrich learning from their traditional classroom setting for a day, or two, or a portion of time as needed for inclement weather. That gets balanced with the regular school day, so they can still get out and be kids.”

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