The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

Let it Snow

District says online learning unlikely on calamity days
Vijaya Sadler

Would you attend virtual school on snow days? Luckily, you probably won’t have to. 

According to Scott Stephens, executive director of communications and public relations, there’s little to no possibility of the district implementing virtual learning on snow days.

Stephens said the district has only made plans to implement virtual schooling in the unlikely event of extended calamity hours. Calamity hours are hours of missed school due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. 

If virtual learning days were to occur, students would be required to join a Google Meet and participate in school from their homes, similar to the online classes held remotely during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a January 2023 Patch story, a bill introduced in the Virginia state legislature last year sought to require districts in the state to hold virtual classes on snow days. Some Virginia school districts, such as Prince William County schools, already do so.

Former Hawken Upper School student Claire Joyce said that virtual learning is required on snow days there. “We’ve had virtual school and Zoom classes, but I’ve found that most students don’t attend the class,” she said. 

Math teacher Ryan Routh said he would be in favor of virtual schooling on snow days.  “There are certain learning targets we have to hit, and so eventually, you do have to start considering virtual snow days,” he said.

Routh said that too many snow days could put his classes behind. “If I miss a certain number of days, I just can’t cover all the material, and that puts students at a disadvantage on a test,” he said. 

Freshman Noah Mayan said students would not attend. “I don’t think a lot of people here at Shaker are very committed to their learning,” he said. 

Junior Ezra Ellenbogen opposes the idea. “Though the intentions are good, the effect would probably be adverse,” they said. “I don’t think there would be any high levels of attendance.”

Ellenbogen said that virtual learning wouldn’t be as effective as in-person classes. They said, “The teacher says that the class has progressed to a certain extent on that day, but then, probably, a majority of people have not actually had that instructional time.”

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