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No more snow days off from school?

Madhu Mayer - mm@thetimesweekly.com | 10/27/2021, 9:58 p.m.
Students can now say goodbye to snow days in the Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, which serves students in ...
Most schools throughout the region will be closed today as a result of dangerously freezing temperatures.

Students can now say goodbye to snow days in the Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, which serves students in Plainfield, Joliet, Romeoville and Bolingbrook, is doing away with snow days, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

Associate Superintendent Dr. Glenn Wood said the "E-Learning Day" plan may be used when school is closed because of emergency or bad weather.

He said District 202 had been slowly building its e-learning program before the pandemic shut down schools in March 2020. That work quickly accelerated in spring and summer 2020 as the district transitioned incrementally back to in-person learning in fall 2020 and winter and spring 2021.

Now, e-learning is a normal part of the educational package, Wood said.

"In this computer and Internet-driven age, there is no reason why we can't continue instruction at home when schools have to be closed," he said.

Under District 202's e-learning plan, students would get either "synchronous" and "asynchronous" learning or both through their Google Classrooms, depending on the circumstances of the school closure.

"Synchronous" learning is teacher-led instruction over the Internet. Under "asynchronous" instruction, students work independently on assignments posted online.

In all cases students would receive at least five clock hours per day of instruction and schoolwork per current state requirements.

Additionally, e-learning will mean the district will no longer have to make up "emergency days" at the end of the school year to meet state attendance requirements.

The Board of Education also directed staff to develop a plan to provide synchronous instruction for students who are excluded or quarantined from school.

Parent Miranda Lozada of Joliet said the pandemic has spotlighted the importance of technology in education.

"Three or four years ago, one only thought you could learn inside of a classroom," she said. "It may not be the best solution, but at least my kids will still have classes during inclement weather. There is no reason for schools to be shut down for weather-related reasons." Madhu Mayer, reporter - news@thetimesweekly.com