Snow make-up days could be replaced with ‘cyber days’

Kyrsten Brown, Reporter

Cyber days have been in question in many school districts around the Cumberland County area. Carlisle School District have been participating in these makeup days for about one year, and many teachers there are seeing both benefits and drawbacks to the program. According to Kelly Brown, a special education teacher at Crestview Elementary in Carlisle, about 80% of her students completed the work while being at home. Brown said, “ I found it very difficult to come up with lesson plans for special education students to complete online at home. My students benefit from teacher input throughout a lesson so expecting them to work from home was very difficult and required reteaching at home after the snow day.”  She also mentioned preparing lesson plans for students to complete at home was slightly difficult based on what speed the students work at, or what lesson they are on can vary.

Lessons plans for students without internet access and/or technology have to be repaired ahead of time and given out the day before. Since then, Carlisle School District has stopped doing snow days without giving a reason why. According to Chistina Hagood, a science teacher at Big Spring, cyber days seem like a good idea, but only if we can ensure every student has wifi. Hagood said, “ You can’t expect a teacher to throw together an online lesson plan in one snow day unless it was a planned one.” It’s possible to do lesson plans but it will take a lot of planning and it will be a huge adjustment for students and teachers beginning the process. “At first reteaching wouldn’t be a problem, but once it becomes the normal it will work and students and teachers will know what to expect and know what they are doing,” said Hagood.

It would be a challenging change for teachers who do not use things like Google Classroom or make online documents for class, and for kids who do not like using the laptops to learn. According to Hagood, our school district is moving towards a calendar year closer to the Carlisle Schools with in-service days, so this could be another big step.