Studying up on snow days

Inclement weather has long-term consequences on academic calendar

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Katie Rippe

Now that the snow-pocalypse is behind us, students and faculty have almost returned to school and the rituals of everyday academics.

These nine snow days have affected the routines of teachers and their pupils. Fewer days to cover material means adjustments to lesson plans.

“For Senior Literature we’ve altered the short story unit from a two-week unit to a one and-a-half week unit,” Mr. Harry Witt, Language Arts teacher, said. “We will still cover the material but not as in depth.”

 Technology has become a resource for combating the loss of instructional time.

“For AP Biology I’ve checked out a flip camera from the library to record my lectures and post them online so kids don’t fall behind since the test day is not pushed back,” Ms. Lindsey Mueller, AP Biology teacher, said.

The snow day panic hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“The AP teachers might be going a little quicker,” Chet Montefering (12) said. “But I think most of the teachers have revised their curriculum and made the tests shorter to make sure we know all the information for the AP exam.”

Playing catch-up seems to be a never-ending cycle.

“I feel like I have been cramming a little bit because everything is pushed back,” Madison Schaefer (11) said. “Especially in my AP classes because we have a set date of the exam, so we have had to push a lot of things together.”

Beyond the academic modifications and their rippling affects, the district’s attention has been directed towards a new Snow Make-up Method.

According to the RSD website, the BOE requires 180 days of school, which includes six potential snow days already factored into the school year. After the six days have been used the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires half of the number of additional canceled days to be made up up to eight days with no more than 10 total make-up days.

For example, if there are 10 snow days called in one academic year, six are included in the schedule and only the seventh and ninth snow days will be added to the end of the year.

“I think the new method is pretty smart because with this weather there is going to be a lot of snow days so if we counted every single one we would be in school way past Labor Day,” Abby Baechle (9) said.

The rush may be worth it.

“I love the snow days. I’ll take some more,” Mr. Witt said. “And now we get two for one; we get two snow days and only have to make up one.”

But as the frigid temperatures linger, RSD is working hard to do what is best for the entire district. According to Fox2now.com, the mixture of frigid temperatures and wind chill increase the risk of frostbite or hypothermia. Administration encourages parents and students to remain judicious about their concerns for safety.

“My advice to parents and students would be: regardless of what the district is doing, you have to make the judgment on the risk factor for you or your child,” Mrs. Deborah Asher, head principal, said. “If you think that the risk factor is too high to be at school then you should take that into consideration. I’m not saying to use that as an excuse but sometimes you just have to make personal judgments, and the last call is the parent’s call on how safe it is for their child.”