FOREST CITY, Iowa - Many school districts called off school on Thursday, posing the possibility of having to extend the school year beyond the scheduled end date.
One North Iowa district is hoping that a pilot E-learning day can help prevent that in coming school years, while keeping kids learning even when they can't make it to class.
"We have this and then we have time to enjoy our snow day."
While heavy snow is coming down outside, Forest City 8th grader Cooper Littrell is working on assignments for different classes inside at home.
"I've completed about half of it now, and I still have four more classes to go."
The Forest City School District planned the first snow day in February to be a pilot day, and will be assessing feedback from students, parents and teachers to see if it could be implemented beginning next year.
He says the E-learning day helps to not fall behind on lessons.
"We don't completely dumb down on snow days. We get our work done, and have our brain power tomorrow."
Superintendent Darwin Lehmann says that a good majority of staff is in support of doing the pilot day, and recalls some recent feedback from an elementary student excited for learning on a snow day.
"One of the elementary teachers sent out the elementary packet already, and a kid brought it back this week or last week with already some of it complete, and he wanted to get the teacher's feedback on it because he was excited to have something fun to do at home educationally."
Cooper appreciates the way lessons are put together online, and if there are questions while doing the work, teachers are just an email away.
"I asked one teacher something because I was stuck on something, and she reached out to me and helped me, so yeah, it's really nice."
Depending on the success of the pilot day, the district could be looking at implementing three E-learning days into next year's school calendar.
In addition, North Iowa Community Schools used a 'flexible learning day' on Thursday, and many teachers with Osage Schools are currently training for a future program.
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