“FID” days keep the class in session during snow days | News
Snow days as students knew them in the past are no longer thanks to distance learning.
Although students may miss weekday sledding and snowman-building days instead of logging into their classrooms, the new style of learning was there and then perfected during the COVID-19 pandemic. and related closures.
“One good thing to come from the pandemic is the ability to teach remotely,” said Ellwood Town Superintendent Dr. Wes Shipley. “Now, flexible training days, which are limited, are an effective way to have continuity of training during weather emergencies.”
Lawrence County schools this week called for flexible instruction days the day before Thursday’s storm and dumped ice and snow in the area.
“Especially in a case like this week, teachers had plenty of time to make sure their classes and their students were ready,” Shipley said.
At the Lawrence County Vocational and Technical Center, attendance — for one — was steady.
“Attendance was good and students followed instructions and completed their homework,” said Ernie Orelli, social studies professor at LCCTC.
“I think the expected two-hour delay was a big help in attendance.”
He credited the success to Chief Technology Officer Scott Powner for setting things up for students to succeed.
“I was pleasantly surprised at the level of attendance of my students,” said Diana Caizza, a learning support teacher at LCCTC. “Honestly and sincerely, I didn’t expect it. After two years of on and off in front of a computer, I was skeptical about how many of my students would choose to ‘come back’ virtually to class again over the past two days. Frankly , I did not expect to be many.
She said the majority of attendees signed up, participated, and many stayed between classes to chat and talk about their lives.
Health teacher Vince Pavia said when he logged on at 10 a.m. all students were ready and online when class started 10 minutes later. A fourth LCCTC teacher, Justin Simon, noted that FID days “keep the wheels of education rolling”.
“They are creatures of habit and need to interact with their instructor,” he said. “The conversation alone is worth it.”
Meanwhile, at Shenango, Dr. Michael Schreck said there’s no substitute for in-person learning.
“Flexible teaching days provide another opportunity to continue student learning instead of traditional snow days,” he said. “With the terrible weather we’ve had over the past few days, distance learning has given us two back-to-back days of education instead of using two separate snow makeup days throughout the year.”