Are snow days now a thing of the past in Marshfield?
For the Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Has the old-fashioned snow day become a thing of the past, now that remote learning has been introduced in the Marshfield School District during COVID-19?
In the School District of Marshfield, Superintendent Dr. Ryan Christianson says the option of using snow days in case of bad weather still exists, but he says that decision has more to do with teachers and students being prepared to go virtual than it does with what “Mother Nature” is up to.
“For our kids that are doing regular in-person learning this school year, they are not taking their IPads home every single day; so, if we have a snow event that come on pretty unexpectedly, and we weren’t prepared for it and we didn’t send the IPads home. I think that is more reason to say, ‘Just catch your breath and have a day off, and enjoy the snow at home kids,’” he said. “If we can see this thing coming and have enough time to prepare and plan enough that we can tell the kids that ‘We are going to send you home with the IPads; tomorrow is going to be a remote learning day, if the weather is bad.’ Then, it will still be a learning day, but from home.”
Christianson also says snow days are still built in to this year’s school calendar in case they are needed, especially if bad weather rolls in fast.
“If we feel because of road conditions and inclement weather, it is not safe to have kids coming into the building, it’s not safe to run buses and have young high school drivers driving; then, we would close our school buildings. I mean, let’s remember that even at the high school and middle school when we’re in this cohort model right now, we have kids every day coming into the building,” he said.
“Elementary level, it is traditional in person for those parents who choose to stick with that; so; we have a lot of kids in our elementary buildings. Just like in past years, if it is not safe to be out driving, we’ll close school. So, for in-person learning school is closed. Just by the nature of our schedules, we have more instructional minutes built in to our schedule over the course of the year. So, we have a little more flexibility at the elementary level.
Christianson added that snow days are still a possibility, “especially at the elementary level.”
If there is bad weather and the threat of a snow day, Christianson says the district will utilize its text-messaging “Sky Alert” system, or direct communication from the various school buildings and the teachers themselves.