“It is going to continue to snowball in this country,” said Wendel, whose district has been forced to call off classes 11 times this school year.
However, Wendel questions whether virtual snow days will continue in her own district. Ohio lawmakers have thrown out a provision allowing the practice, citing concerns that poor students without home computers and rural students without Internet access could be at a disadvantage. Lawmakers continue to debate the issue.
Jalisa Rush, a seventh-grader in the district who has her own laptop, said she and her friends spent their e-days chatting on Facebook as they did online assignments that included calculating the calories and transfats in favorite foods. Because some of the projects were more creative, she didn’t mind committing five to six hours to them.
“I thought it was really exciting and something new to try, which was really pretty great,” she said. But she added: “It gets a little harder because you didn’t really have the teacher there to explain something if you have a question.”
Carol Hussin, principal of Cameron’s St. Therese School, said some parents have complained the online work took longer than the six hours teachers intended, but others said they enjoyed getting a glimpse of their children’s studies.
“I think it’s a great tool to have,” said Cameron’s mother, Jane. “Obviously it’s not going to replace going to school. But for situations like this, I think it’s wonderful.”