NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - While temperatures are just starting to improve, the snowy, bitter beginning to the week forced school districts across our area to cancel classes.
A student does schoolwork at home on a laptop computer (WBAY photo)
One local district is making sure students are still learning, even if they're not in school.
Siblings Alexis Zemlock, a junior at Neenah High School, and her younger brother, Jack, an 8th grader, may not be in school again today because of the weather, but class is still in session. The two are joining students district-wide in what the Neenah Joint School District calls a digital learning day.
"Our kindergartners through 5th grade have iPads, and our 6th through 12 have Chromebooks. They take these devices home, and then our teachers, through our learning management system called Schoology, post assignments and activities for the students to do while they're at home," says Austin Moore with the school district.
Alexis is working on math. Her pre-calc teacher actually uploaded a video for students to watch.
She says, "It's nice having him walk us through it instead or just reading a book, out of the textbook. It's a lot easier to learn that way. It's kind of like you're just at school but you're doing it at home."
Jack is working on his own assignments. He says, "I'd like to be doing other stuff, obviously, but it helps me get back into the flow of school and keep up with the stuff that we're missing."
That's exactly what the district says is the purpose of this digital learning day. By keeping the kids engaged in education when they're off for an extended period of time, they'll hopefully transition back to class more easily.
Plus, the Neenah District tell us it's submitted an application for innovation to the State Department of Public Instruction, hoping these digital learning days will count toward the state-mandated instruction. If that's approved, students and staff won't have to make up these missed days.
Moore adds, "We hope we don't have to make those days up and that these will count, but the bigger scope is to keep that continuum of learning going and keep the students engaged."