'Flexible learning' helps Stewartville students, teachers stay on track

This winter Stewartville School District has had at least six school cancellations due to weather, but that doesn't mean the learning stops.

Posted: Feb 11, 2019 11:25 PM

STEWARTVILLE, Minn. - With all the school closings and delays due to winter weather, Minnesota education officials are now surveying districts to decide whether or not to ask lawmakers for a shorter school year.

Stewartville School District thinks that should be decided locally. That's because for them, a snow day doesn't necessarily mean a day off.

Just this year, the district implemented "Flexible Learning Days," where learning isn't done in the school but online.]

After 20 years with the district, Kelly Manley's never seen winter affect a school schedule like this.

"One will never forget this many snow days, the bitter cold," Manley, a social studies teacher at Stewartville, said. "Yeah this will be one in 10 years we'll be talking about, 2018-2019. This is not one that will leave our memory anytime soon."

He used to have the headache of rearranging his lesson plans, and even taking out certain curriculum

"In the past when we didn't have the e-learning days, we'd put things off or we'd put things back and we might get to a point where we lose enough days there's certain things in the curriculum we just can't cover," Manley said, "but with the e-learning days that we have now, we can get to everything."

He thinks it's a different generation, and sometimes that calls for different ways of going about education.

"They like the flexibility, they like the ability to get things done," Manley said. "These are kids who are self-driven, self-motivated, capable of taking technology, utilizing it in a way that is designed for them, geared towards them."

With the technology, it's almost like the teachers are there with them.

"We have to be available all day to the kids also online," Stephanie Affeldt, a math teacher at Stewartville, said, "so then we can send messages back and forth. I find that some of those kids are kids who wouldn't have asked you in class, but they have no problem sending you a message and asking."

It allows the school to not only keep up with curriculum, but also stay on track with the schedule.

"I remember before it was like you got a free day," Affeldt said, "but then all of a sudden once you started having three, four, five they were being added on at the end of the school year. And then as a teacher, I found that jeez you started making them up in June, you've lost the kids."

Superintendent Belinda Selfors tells KIMT it's never an easy decision to cancel school, a lot of communication and thought goes into it. She says the first priority is safety of the students.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22464

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7540565
Ramsey2610103
Stearns198412
Nobles14883
Anoka126259
Dakota118244
Olmsted57510
Washington56230
Kandiyohi4751
Rice4112
Clay40625
Scott3792
Todd2960
Wright2691
Sherburne2192
Mower2161
Carver1852
Benton1692
Steele1480
Martin1265
Blue Earth1221
St. Louis11513
Freeborn970
Pine850
Winona7815
Nicollet747
Carlton730
Cottonwood650
Otter Tail620
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Goodhue603
Watonwan590
Polk592
Crow Wing571
Itasca537
Chisago501
Dodge460
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Meeker440
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Morrison400
Douglas390
Jackson390
Becker370
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Lyon360
Isanti330
McLeod290
Waseca240
Rock210
Swift170
Pennington170
Mille Lacs171
Fillmore171
Wabasha170
Brown142
Faribault130
Beltrami130
Sibley130
Cass122
Norman110
Wilkin113
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Renville50
Mahnomen51
Red Lake40
Traverse30
Big Stone30
Clearwater30
Redwood30
Grant30
Lac qui Parle30
Houston20
Lake10
Hubbard10
Roseau10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18342

Reported Deaths: 496
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3876115
Woodbury265831
Black Hawk171343
Linn93876
Marshall87815
Dallas87317
Buena Vista6820
Johnson6058
Muscatine54741
Wapello5384
Crawford4882
Tama40026
Scott34610
Louisa33610
Dubuque33016
Jasper25716
Pottawattamie2277
Sioux2100
Washington1858
Wright1240
Allamakee1194
Plymouth1191
Warren1140
Story961
Poweshiek888
Mahaska888
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines581
Boone560
Taylor480
Cedar461
Guthrie443
Clarke400
Benton391
Jones360
Iowa360
Monroe354
Shelby350
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Osceola310
Marion300
Webster291
Hamilton280
Madison261
Fayette260
Monona240
Lee230
Cherokee230
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Davis200
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Lyon190
Grundy190
Floyd181
Sac170
Mills160
Hardin150
Butler150
Delaware150
Humboldt140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Hancock140
Appanoose133
Jackson130
Dickinson130
Clay130
Greene130
Howard120
Audubon121
Winnebago110
Cass110
Page100
Van Buren90
Franklin90
Carroll90
Pocahontas90
Chickasaw80
Emmet80
Unassigned80
Kossuth80
Adair70
Adams70
Lucas70
Union60
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
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