Students in Waterloo Region will be expected to participate in remote learning on snow days. Materials will be available via Google classroom and the content will be a review work of previous lessons, according to Abby O’Leary.
O’Leary, a Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School teacher, says that she is not a fan of the system.
“I think it stinks for the kids because as a student, snow days were always so exciting.”
O’Leary feels the system is flawed in certain aspects.
“As far as technology, it’s way more complicated than what it sounds like,” she said. “The hassle of planning for a possible snow day and sending tech home with the students that they may or may not need. I’m just not comfortable sending the tech home if the students don’t need it.”
O’Leary says her primary students are good at showing up for their online learning, but she also believes this is because they don’t know any different. For older students, this more than likely is not the case.
Ainslie Johnston, a former Southwood Secondary student, says she can’t imagine having to sign on for class during a snow day.
“I really feel for kids in school now who have to do this,” she said. “I remember always spending snow days sledding or going outside at least. And now all these kids are going to miss out on that.”
Johnston also says that she most likely wouldn’t participate if she had to do schoolwork on a snow day.
On a positive note, O’Leary says her primary students bonded over the novelty of remote learning on a snow day.
“There was one snow day last year where the next day the kids were all talking about it, and I had one of the students who didn’t sign on ask if we could do online learning that night because he felt left out,” she said with a laugh. “Of course I had to tell him no, but I felt really bad doing it.”
For students at Conestoga College, it is a little different because a lot of students are already learning from home. But if school is cancelled because of poor weather conditions, students are not expected to do review and can enjoy their day off.
With snow appearing already, students should prepare for the possibility of more snow days in the winter semester.