Opinion: Students should be required to do online school during snow days

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Lily

Although students love snow days, e-learning makes learning more effective.

Lily Moriarity, Writer

Snow days are a quintessential part of being a student in Minnesota, and e-learning will not take that away. In the past snow days meant students could get the day off and lay around, but schools now have the opportunity to make sure kids can stay on track while being safe at home.

Sometimes schools seem to be reluctant to call snow days. Many times people find themselves having to drive to work or school on ice, slipping and sliding, because nobody wants to make the call to cancel school. There is less guilt behind an e-learning day and less pressure for schools to make people come in during inclement weather. This is safer for students and teachers.

A report that the state of Minnesota averages about 110 days per year with snow coverage of an inch  or greater. The USA rank reports that in the past 10 years OHS has had 77 snow days, which averages about seven snow days a year. One year was especially bad when it came to snow. In January of 2018 we ended up getting 31.5 inches of snow in just one day. Many of these are days that students need to make up at the end of the school year.

It gives the chance for students to show and create content in a different way, as well as preparing them for work after school, when they will sometimes be asked to do work at home”

— Mr.Woitalla

Amel shows that due to e-learning during snow days students don’t need to make up for missed days later on in the school year. Students will still get a more relaxed day compared to going to school in person. 

Teachers also support the idea of doing E-learning. OHS history teacher Mr. Adam Woitalla said, “It gives the chance for students to show and create content in a different way, as well as preparing them for work after school, when they will sometimes be asked to do work at home.” Students need to be ready to move into the real world, where when the temperature gets bad they are still expected  to do their work and get it done on time.

Although students are hesitant, they do understand how much e-learning during snow days can help them. They prefer to just have snow days. Senior Riley Kalbach said, ”I understand why they want us to do online learning during snow days so we don’t have to make it up in June. I just would prefer having snow days.” The school has kept this in mind which is why the first two snow days of the year we won’t be doing online but one it gets to the third and so on we will do online.So students get to have the snow days they want while also staying on track.

I understand why they want us to do online learning during snow days so we don’t have to make it up in June. I just would prefer having snow days.”

— Riley Kalbach

Due to COVID-19, a lot of schools have started taking advantage of the online model that is now offered. Owatonna has offered every student a Chromebook and access to hotspots if they don’t have Wifi available. Access to these resources would solve the issue that many students previously had with e-learning.

The Twin Cities Pioneer Press tells how staying on track this year is of great importance for students.Recent data from the Minnesota Department of Education shows reading and math scores dropped since 2020. An e-learning day does not mean that  students lose the whole day due to schoolwork, since the assignments and structure is not  as long as a typical school day. E-learning day will benefit all as learning can continue and students can still enjoy traditional snow day activities. Owatonna students will also get to have two snow days with no school before we do online so you will still get to have some regular snow days. More information about snow days can be found on the Learning in a Winter Wonderland article.