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'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: 86722

Reported Deaths: 1994
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25264915
Ramsey10267314
Dakota6942124
Anoka5531131
Stearns362923
Washington345955
Scott232532
Olmsted223726
Nobles191416
Blue Earth15406
Wright14777
Carver13037
Rice12798
Mower12534
St. Louis123329
Clay119940
Sherburne105013
Kandiyohi9082
Winona72718
Lyon6244
Steele5062
Freeborn4903
Nicollet48716
Watonwan4844
Benton4793
Todd4722
Le Sueur4403
McLeod4332
Chisago4151
Waseca4118
Crow Wing40218
Otter Tail3674
Beltrami3624
Goodhue3179
Martin2809
Polk2574
Itasca25513
Becker2352
Carlton2261
Isanti2210
Douglas2191
Cottonwood2130
Pipestone2059
Pine1980
Morrison1841
Chippewa1821
Dodge1820
Sibley1663
Wabasha1640
Brown1582
Unassigned15752
Meeker1552
Murray1492
Yellow Medicine1421
Rock1390
Mille Lacs1333
Faribault1290
Cass1203
Jackson1201
Renville1176
Pennington1071
Houston1050
Roseau1050
Swift991
Fillmore980
Koochiching983
Kanabec958
Lincoln930
Redwood910
Stevens911
Pope810
Aitkin691
Hubbard650
Big Stone640
Wadena610
Grant574
Wilkin553
Norman510
Lake480
Marshall481
Mahnomen441
Red Lake370
Lac qui Parle360
Traverse290
Clearwater240
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson130
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76924

Reported Deaths: 1241
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk14988255
Johnson490727
Woodbury475459
Black Hawk425184
Linn3640102
Story321417
Dallas263238
Scott261427
Dubuque251840
Buena Vista191812
Pottawattamie189437
Marshall175234
Sioux12243
Wapello122057
Webster117914
Muscatine105152
Clinton102418
Cerro Gordo97721
Plymouth97520
Crawford9444
Warren9186
Jasper72032
Des Moines7137
Marion6874
Tama67830
Carroll6085
Lee5727
Wright5491
Henry5104
Dickinson4666
Bremer4497
Boone4346
Washington41411
Louisa41314
Franklin33017
Hamilton3123
Mahaska30919
Delaware3053
Jackson2803
Floyd2793
Winneshiek2745
Clay2663
Hardin2661
Benton2611
Clarke2533
Butler2512
Winnebago24711
Emmet24210
Shelby2381
Allamakee2355
Jones2313
Poweshiek2308
Clayton2243
Lyon2233
Buchanan2181
Cedar2101
Guthrie2095
Chickasaw1970
Kossuth1950
Grundy1932
Madison1922
Howard1764
Sac1760
Fayette1751
Iowa1741
Cherokee1732
Mitchell1720
Hancock1702
Humboldt1682
Harrison1642
Calhoun1612
Mills1541
Pocahontas1492
Palo Alto1480
Monroe1409
Page1400
Jefferson1291
Lucas1296
Cass1262
Monona1251
Taylor1171
Appanoose1163
Osceola1130
Union1123
Davis1104
Van Buren1081
Worth990
Keokuk841
Montgomery845
Greene790
Ida770
Wayne762
Fremont730
Adair591
Decatur580
Audubon501
Ringgold402
Adams270
Unassigned160
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