Snow Days Soon to Go Extinct

Illinois has passed a bill allowing schools to participate in e-learning during days that have to be taken off due to weather.


Beatriz Warnes

Junior Mickena Prochnow does her homework on the couch under a blanket to stay warm. Needing to clock in five total hours of screen time, students must use their time at home sparingly and not get distracted.

Winter is the season where many students wake up anticipating a large amount of snowfall, resulting in a day off of school. Some will be overjoyed and ecstatic that they can stay home and catch a few more hours of sleep; others may be disappointed, knowing that the time they have in class will be minimal because of the poor weather. 

According to Illinois Policy, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill allowing schools to participate in teaching during days where school has been cancelled for safety or weather reasons. These will be called E-Learning days, and the goal is to combat the issues associated with snow days. Classes that are only during the first semester lose those potential days of school because they do not extend to the end of the year when these snow days are made up.

These single semester classes are the most affected by days off; the proposed solution to this is to have work assigned and turned into Google Classroom, a place where teachers can give assignments for students to complete at home. 

I think that the general gist behind [e-learning days] is to not miss out on learning when it’s a day that we can’t come to school

— Bradford Hubbard

“I think that the general gist behind [e-learning days] is to not miss out on learning when it’s a day that we can’t come to school,” assistant superintendent Bradford Hubbard said. “As we do it, I think we will continue to tweak it. If it’s a road that we end up going down, it’ll be one that will be a learning process.”

Nevertheless, there are some issues that continue to arise when planning these days. One that has a lot to do with the majority of students is whether or not they will complete the assignments. Math department chair Jill Farrell believes that it would be more beneficial to assign a worksheet rather than a project that students may not complete.

“Some kids do their homework and some kids don’t,” Farrell said. “The kids that sometimes don’t do their homework might not necessarily do this homework either. I would imagine that the content isn’t going to take you from 7:30 a.m. till 3 p.m. to complete.” 

Some students feel blindsided by this idea. Senior Katelyn Vaskovsky was not aware of this and was disappointed that she may not be able to partake in the activities she normally does on snow days.

“I’m usually outside with some of my friends snowshoeing or we go to Alpine Valley and we go snowboarding for the entire day,” Vaskovsky said. “I’m sure in the long run [e-learning days will] be worth it, but in the moment I’ll probably hate it.”

The Community High School District 117 Board of Education still has room for improvement: accommodating for students that have to take care of siblings and those that work one-on-one with their teachers. They have recently informed administration on new standards such as having to clock-in five total hours of work time. Another thing they are making sure of is that all students will be able to complete all of the assigned work no matter their situation.

These days are made to benefit students rather than take away their snow days. There were four snow days last school year and ACHS wants to be prepared for the likely chance that it’ll happen again. Teachers’ curriculums wouldn’t be forced to change; students lose a day of winter, but instead get to keep a day of summer.