Days off due to snow have changed over time. Today’s kids spend their snow days doing online lessons rather than drinking hot cocoa and going sledding. A temporary committee of the North Dakota legislature is currently debating whether virtual learning days should take the place of snow days.
At the Geiger home, mornings are hectic. Making meals and seeing to it that everyone is prepared for the day are part of the Mandan family’s daily ritual.
When the children have an online learning day, the mornings are especially busier.
“I mean, virtual days are a little harder sometimes because if teachers aren’t prepared, and they like, put out a bunch of busy work, it’s not always pertained to the unit,” said Tait Geiger, a sophomore at Mandan High School.
The education committee is hearing some of these worries regarding virtual learning and snow days.
“We requested that the Mandan school survey its students. And 86% of the parents said they preferred a virtual school day over cancelled classes, according to Rep. LaurieBeth Hager, a Democrat from Fargo.
Hager and the other committee members are collecting information on the effectiveness of virtual education, the level of teacher and student preparation, the availability of virtual schools in homes, and the tradition of taking snow days.
They are also talking about the salary implications of virtual days for hourly workers.
Another issue with winter travel is the weather.
Legislature education committee explores snow days vs. online learning days
“It’s wonderful that there is a choice when the prediction is uncertain and we want them to get the practise. Some children are walking to school tomorrow, so it may get crazy,” said Gayle Geiger.
The committee is also investigating legislation passed by other jurisdictions to regulate the amount of virtual school days. Parental figures like Gayle appreciate a cap system.
We don’t want to abandon face-to-face interactions because of their value and benefits, according to Gayle.
She asserts that since COVID, online education has developed, and she is pleased with how the Mandan School District has handled it.
She assumes the position of teacher during days of online learning, which can be challenging for the children and their parents.
“My parents support me a lot, but they certainly don’t do it for me. Ellia Geiger, an eighth-grader, said, “I guess if they don’t have a movie with it, I could check it up on the web.
Many children worry about the classroom’s communication with the classmates.
“Like in maths, where you ask a question but don’t immediately receive an answer. Then it gets a little tough,” fifth-grader Milly Geiger said.
The Geigers claim that while online schooling has become simpler, they still value days when they can all pack their bags and leave the house at once.
Currently, school districts make decisions regarding virtual days and snow days. The number of virtual learning days that students can have is not restricted by law.