Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

MN might let schools turn snow days into learn-from-home days

Even if kids can't get to school, they might still have to do schoolwork.

"Gee, Grandma, you didn't even have to log onto your class web page? ... You just stayed home and played in the snow?"

Snow days might seem like a strange concept to future generations of Minnesotans.

Already, some schools are realizing that even if a snowstorm keeps kids from getting to school, that doesn't have to mean there is no school. The learning day can just migrate to the web.

The Legislature is considering bills that would formalize this idea, giving schools the freedom to replace snow days with "e-learning days."

Why in the world would they do such a thing?

As fun as snow days are, there is a downside. Those no-school days have to be made up later, which usually means adding days to the end of end of the school year or maybe shortening spring break. Not fun.

Thursday a House committee heard from a principal and teacher at a southeastern Minnesota district that has replaced most snow days with something they call WILD days: Weather Induced Learning Days.

Principal Dave Anderson says the Zumbrota-Mazeppa district just had one of those days last week. As Session Daily reports, Anderson told the House Education Innovation Policy Committee the kids all took their Chromebooks home and teachers assigned them lessons they could do at home on their laptops.

“The concept of the snow day being a free day isn’t going on anymore,” Anderson said.

Teacher Angela Heitman acknowledged some things can't be done online – a biology lab, for example – but said most teachers have some supplemental assignment up their sleeve that they haven't had time to get to in the classroom.

You can see their whole presentation here:

What's the Legislature considering?

The House bill introduced by Republican Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa would not force schools to do anything, just give them the option of having e-learning days.

Schools that do it would have to let families know at least two hours before the start of the school day that they would be studying from home. The lessons would start at the normal time and teachers would have to stay logged on – or at least available by phone – all day.

While many schools provide students with laptops, one of the questions raised in the hearing was about families that don't have internet access at home.

The panel did not vote on the proposal Thursday, but set it aside for possible inclusion in the big education bill they'll come up with at the end of the session.

The Senate has a similar bill authored by a DFLer, Greg Clausen of Apple Valley.

Next Up

The search involved several local public safety agencies, including a State Patrol helicopter unit and a K9 team.

Woman, 22, dies in crash just outside Brainerd

Another woman was injured in the collision.

Bloomington PD person interest dog abuse 11.24.21

Dog found shot and run over, police searching for person of interest

The police department released photos of a possible suspect.

unsplash football helmet ground

Parents of star QB suspended for state final file lawsuit to let him play

He was automatically suspended after receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct calls in the semifinal.

Christopher Endicott

Former Lakeville principal dies in Crow Wing County jail

The 53-year-old was pronounced dead after lifesaving measures were attempted.

2021_0930_Practices_0036

Vikings place Dalvin Tomlinson on COVID-19/reserve list

The defensive line takes another blow ahead of Sunday's game with the 49ers.

Tattersall_Distilling_River_Falls_0001

Photos: Tattersall Distillery's new 'destination distillery' in WI

The Minneapolis-based craft spirits manufacturer announced an opening date for its new space.

Related

Should a civics test be required to graduate from MN schools?

A bill at the Capitol would require schools to give a civics test like the ones new citizens take.

Minnesota's new Teacher of the Year used to struggle in school

Corey Bulman, who now works at Mound Westonka High, says a group of his high school teachers showed him that education is a gift that's renewed when it's shared.

Minnesota's new Teacher of the Year used to struggle in school

Corey Bulman, who now works at Mound Westonka High, says a group of his high school teachers showed him that education is a gift that's renewed when it's shared.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 9.21.25 AM

Mpls. school moves to virtual learning due to homeless encampment on grounds

The Volunteers of America School says some students will work remotely, while others work at alternative sites.

Here's why it might cost more to go fishing, hunting, boating in MN

The DNR explained why it's asking for fee increases but state lawmakers make the final decision

Some families are racing to pay off lunch debts before the school year ends

There's a campaign to raise donations to cover lunch debts in the Anoka-Hennepin district, which refers overdue accounts to collection agencies.

classroom

Mounds View schools signals shift to distance learning for secondary students

It comes amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations in Minnesota.

Feds tell pair of MN colleges: 'No student loans for you'

Globe University, Minnesota School of Business can't accept federal student loan money in 2017