How snow days will work in Colorado Springs’ largest school district in a online learning world

KKTV 11 News this Morning
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:22 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado Springs' largest school district laid out its plans for snow days and how they will work when online learning exists because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, multiple districts closed completely for a traditional snow day. Academy District 20 had their first “snow day” as well, but it looked slightly different than a traditional day off.

D-20 explained to 11 News their new “snow day” versus a full closure day. A snow day, like students saw on Monday, means elementary students are off, while middle and high schoolers do online learning from home. A full closure means the entire district is shutdown, possibly due to a blizzard knocking out internet connection, or conditions are too harsh to have productive online learning.

Elementary students are off completely on snow days because they are fully in-person currently, and are not completely used to the online learning method. Middle and high schoolers will do e-learning on snow days because they are much more used to this type of learning during the pandemic.

Students doing online learning instead of a traditional snow day will allow the district to let students out of school on time next summer, rather than making up multiple snow days at the end of the year.

“We build in, like, six days every year for full closures. Last year, we hit that six-day mark by, like, January. The year before, we didn’t have one. That’s what’s so challenging about Colorado is that it can be a really dry winter and we’re in the clear, or it can be a really wet fall and we’ve used up all of our full closure days almost by January," said Allison Cortez of D-20.

There was mixed reaction from D-20 parents about this new snow day model. Cortez said some wished for the snow day and some thanked them for letting their students continue to learn now so they can make plans for next summer. D-20 says either way, parents are allowed to keep their children home if they choose when it snows, as long as they are called out for an absence.

For more district information, click here.

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