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High school gets rid of snow days thanks to e-learning

WATERLOO, IL (KTVI)-- Mathew Schweitzer is making sure his students are prepared in case of a snow day Friday.

"Seems a little overwhelming right now, but I think the idea of being out May 22nd period, I think come April or May we're going to like that," says history teacher Matthew Schweizer.

A lot of students at Gibault High School are going to enjoy the end of the school year in May.

That's because Gibault is changing the snow day forever.

"I was thinking, I don't get any snow days this year," says senior Blake Braun.  "I don't get to stay at home.  But I do get to stay at home.  I get to wake up later than normal, and because there`s no set time limit I can go sledding. I can go out to eat with my friends if I want to."

Students at the catholic school in Waterloo, Illinois had a snow day simulation on Monday.

Nobody showed up to this classroom.

"I woke up, opened my laptop in bed, signed in, checked in with my homeroom teacher and I was there," says senior Ellie Wessel.  "I actually finished all my homework by 12."

"It was a real time experiment where we all Monday stayed home and had our first E-learning day," says Principal Russ Hart.  "Great success and very few problems, minimal."

Using a program called My Big Campus; students check in and get their assignments.

If they fail to log on, they're marked as absent.

"We can have discussion boards, chat rooms, YouTube videos, video chat lecture so the students actually get a full day of instruction," says Schweizer.

Besides saving costs, it might save lives, eliminating the need to drive in dangerous conditions.

Snow days are snow-more, thanks to e-learning.

"Pretty amazing to know that you won't have to worry about when your final exam is, you'll know when you're getting off of school, and you can plan your vacation ahead of time," says senior Brock McCarty.

So you'll be sitting pretty in may, even if you got snowed in last December.


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9 comments

  • Hello

    Everyone at the school has a computer… And if their wifi is down then they go to a place that has it or make up the homework.

  • Helen

    No reason to send our children to school. They can stay home every day and not get shot at and the teacher can teach from home.

  • Stacy Gee Hollins

    All students do not have equal access to technology. If they can’t make it to school, they cannot “go to a place that has it”. Consider that this makes the divide a larger one. This shouldn’t be considered until the powers that be are ready to provide everyone with equal access and the technology that is necessary to succeed.

    • Hello

      Since it is a private school the powers that be did work with students that needed help purchasing a device or connecting to the internet. I agree it may not be possible in a large public school but it works other places.

  • TJ

    If ANY student has to leave home to have internet access, it seems to me the purpose is being defeated though it is a very interesting concept.

  • Wellesley

    It’s great to see how e-learning is improving how students of all ages learn. It might be a valuable next step to have students take a lesson of their choice from other online education sites like http://www.CourseWorld.org to make the snow days even more productive!

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