Despite obstacles, schools’ eLearning plan a good idea

Snow and other inclement weather can wreak havoc on schools as cancellations force them to adjust schedules to get in the state-required amount of instruction time.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. has been using an unprotected second week of spring break to recoup lost days. Now it has another way to help keep students on track: the eLearning Day snow day system.

Beginning with the sixth snow day of the year, students would be asked to complete learning objectives by using their school-provided iPads, Chromebooks or laptops. The ability to complete course work from home is a smart way to avoid having the school year extend into summer break as June makeup days aren’t always productive.

The new system also provides a safety benefit in that it keeps students out of inclement weather.

The eLearning Day is new for Bartholomew Consolidated, but it has been adopted by other school districts. As Bartholomew Consolidated firms up its program, we trust school officials have been doing their homework to learn what they can from others’ experiences. On its face, eLearning Day does present some challenges.

Not all households have Internet connections, and those parents will be expected to transport their children to one of three schools that will be open in three different parts of the city to do their snow-day assignments or a public Wi-Fi spot. However, if it’s too dangerous for buses on be on the roads, why would parents want to take their children out in their own vehicles?

If getting to one of the schools or Wi-Fi spots isn’t possible, parents are supposed to contact teachers directly to develop an alternative learning plan. Depending on when school is canceled and parents’ works schedules, making such arrangements on short notice could be difficult.

The eLearning Day system is a good idea that is worth implementing because of the overall benefit of reducing interruptions to the school year. At least initially, though, it will be a learning process that will require monitoring by the school district to make sure it is working as effectively as envisioned.