Another result of eLearning: No more snow days

Mastering online learning means the end of a tradition


Madison Spiegel

The first snow of the school year fell last year on Nov. 10 and covered plants on the campus. Snow this year probably won’t result in a snow day, due to having eLearning days as an option.

Ashlynn Bakemeyer, Co-Editor-In-Chief

In the past, snow days consisted of sleeping in, going sledding and having snowball fights. But this year’s snow days are expected to look quite different. 

Principal Mrs. Julie Barthel said she believes the school will begin eLearning on days that the school is closed because of hazardous winter weather.

Barthel said that the increased use and knowledge of technology because of Covid-19 “is huge.” She added, “I think there could be more snow days called since we know we’re not losing instructional time, and I think it will be a lot better for our families.” 

Students come from all across Central Indiana to get to school. Barthel said, “Kids are traveling much more here than at other schools.”

While snow days may be called more frequently, school days will take place virtually. Barthel said eLearning is better than adding a day into the school year. She added, “eLearning is never as good as having class in person. One of the major losses is the resources. Classes like chemistry or anatomy can’t send home all of the equipment.”

But Barthel made it clear that the school’s eLearning is what she said is “at a very high level.” She said, “I talked to a lot of other administrators and parents, and no other school is doing eLearning the way we are.” She added that she is very grateful for how teachers are handling eLearning. ”Our teachers are doing an amazing job at eLearning, but you just can’t replicate all of the face-to-face you have at school,” she said. 

Although the snow days of past years are likely going to be replaced with eLearning days, Barthel remembers specific snow days that happened in her childhood. “I lived in the corner of the state, about five minutes away from Michigan. There was a blizzard in January of 1978 and the whole state of Indiana was out for two weeks. People were running out of food and even heat. So people were going and staying with neighbors.”

The blizzard left behind 20 inches of snow. “My birthday is in January, so I even missed my birthday party, and I was pretty upset about that,” Barthel said. “This was before there was social media, so I remember staying up at night watching the schools scroll by in ABC order on the news. If you missed it you had to wait for it to scroll back around and see if your school was going to be added,” Barthel said. 

While the snow days in the future won’t look the same as years past, Barthel said she was encouraged by the option of eLearning. The weeks of eLearning because of Covid-19 provided the school with opportunities for a more advanced instructional system that can substitute for snow days.

Barthel praised the teachers, saying, “Now that we know that our teachers are even more trained, we won’t mind doing eLearning days because our teachers do such a good job with them.”