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Online snow days for students in Michiana

With the brutal winter and polar vortex Michiana experienced last year, Penn-Harris Madison students had 9 snow days to make-up.  That is a number school officials say is unheard of. 

So last year the school district tried something new to tackle those snow days – E-Learning. Instead of making up days in a classroom, students spent hours completing assignments online.

Right now, PHM school officials say they are working with the state to establish an E-Learning plan for this winter, just in case it gets extreme.

“There were so many snow days that if they had to make all them up at the end of the year, it would have went way too far into their summer vacation,”  explained Lisa Whiteman, a PHM parent.

Last year, over 40 school districts in Indiana swapped the classroom for laptops to make up snow days - PHM was one of those districts.

“I personally would rather see him have all E-Learning days for snow make up.  It is so much easier.” 

Whireman has a son in PHM schools and says when it comes to virtual snow days, everybody wins. 

“I think it is really good for the teachers too because it doesn't mess up the plans they have for summer.”

But there are some parents who do not agree, they say they want their kids making up snow days in a classroom with textbooks and a teacher

“I think it is just another excuse for a kid to be on a computer on Facebook, playing games, talking to their friends, Skyping, they are not going to do their school work.”

Bootsie Grant says E-Learning is ideal for families with stay-home parents and those with internet access. 

“If parents have time to sit at home with their kids and do that, that is wonderful.”  

But she worries about kids who do not have computers or supervision.

“I would rather them go to school, sit in a classroom, do their school work where somebody is supervising them to make sure they are doing the work, make sure they are getting the education they are suppose to get,” expressed Grant.

PHM schools are working on a plan to make sure all students have access to computers and special assistance if they need it for those potential E-Learning snow days.
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