Envy over excitement for e-learning

The students of MN are not in favor of replacing snowdays with e-learning

Staff Editorial

Exhausted after a long eight hours of school and having to walk home in -8 degree weather, you decide to take a peek at the snow day calculator. 

As you wail with excitement at the 97% chance on your screen, you get a notification from Twitter announcing that Dr. Sutfin had cancelled school. But you forgot to read one very important note. It’s an e-learning day?

While administrators remain enthusiastic about the new development Millard has made to their snow days — e-learning — this excitement has failed to transfer to students.

“I prefer snow days because we get to have fun and having just one more day of school at the end of the year won’t hurt,” said junior Sanika Navalkar.

Before the addition of e-learning, students were always ecstatic at the thought of having a snow day. For them it meant no school, drinking hot chocolate while watching their favorite movie, and playing in the cold snow. Now, however, a snow day looks more like waking up at 9 AM and completing assigned homework until 9 PM.

For many students, e-learning snow days have turned into an added source of stress as many have had to complete busy work by impending deadlines and taking up time that they could be using to do other things, like completing the previous day’s homework or studying for an upcoming test.

“E-learning days are stressful and ineffective. I end up doing more work on an e-learning day than I would on a normal day,” said junior Aanya Mishra.

However, it’s important to understand that the Millard District’s intention with the implementation of e-learning on snow days was not with an  ill intention. Their reasoning was that if the teachers were to have students doing school work on their day off, then the extra days that are added to the end of the school year due to the numerous amount of snow days could be discarded, giving the district an easier way to predict the last day of school.

“When we transitioned to the one-to-one laptops, that gave us the opportunity to allow our students to still be able to learn while they’re at home,” said assistant principal Aaron Bearinger.

While it’s understandable that the district does not want to extend the school year, many students believe that the benefits of allowing for a snow day to be honored as a true day off from school outweighs the cost of an extra day at the end of the year.

“Most days I have swimming practice before and after school, and having to balance that on top of my schoolwork and orchestra every day can get pretty overwhelming. Especially during the winter time, it’s nice to have a free day when I don’t have to worry about school, and those few extra days at the end of the year really don’t make a big difference at the end of the day,” said sophomore Shriya Samanta.

A poll was conducted of a variety of students at MN (around 100), and it asked whether they prefer a true snow day or an e-learning day. Around 60% of students answered that they prefer snow days over e-learning days.

One method that has started to be implemented at many universities across the country is the idea of a mental health day, which gives students an entire day of time for themselves in the middle of a chaotic school year.

Considering that MN is fully in person after a very challenging year of remote learning, using snow days as a mental health day would be extremely beneficial for both students and teachers.

Snow days have been a part of students’ lives for as long as we can remember; an unexpected day that we can use as a break from a long and hectic school year. Even our parents and many generations before them have gotten to experience the joy of a classic snow day, so it’s strange to think that future generations may never be able to experience something that’s been cherished by students for decades.