The Struggle of Handling Student Learning

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The LCSC school corporation started the e-learning program in Logansport schools in 2015 to fight the ongoing issue of meeting the limit of days in a school year. This program made students do assigned work at home when the weather didn’t allow for them to be at school. Before this, the corporation would solve this problem by adding days to the end of the year, but this was considered ineffective. Now, after six years of e-learning, there are many differing opinions amongst staff and students about which method is better in general.

This change was made for many different reasons other than weather though. Superintendent Michele Starkey elaborated on this.

“It helps us keep the school calendar the same so that we’re not continually adding days at the end of the school year because when you look at adding days, really how meaningful are they? Because everybody is ready to be out, and all the standardized testing is done, so it’s really not impactful. So, at least when we’re doing e-learning on bad weather days, we can at least just continue learning where we’re at,” Starkey said.

According to LHS delay/early dismissal/cancellation data, over the span of 2012-2014, the number of cancellation days drastically increased from 2 to 13 cancellations before this program was implemented. This played a huge role in the change.

Along with that, Mrs. Starkey and staff members felt that their jobs of teaching the curriculum in an effective manner were limited when they had to add days on as opposed to learning at home.

“I prefer e-learning days rather than adding days at the end of the year. I feel that I can still assign and assess lessons in the short term effectively. Adding days to the end of the year doesn’t seem to help the learning objectives and students (and teachers) are just winding down in May and mentally have begun to stop absorbing new material. We all are just ready for an end to the school year and need to take a break,” Chemistry teacher Laura Karnafel said.

Some students, however, have a different perspective from their side. Some feel that they don’t necessarily learn anything while at home, due to a lack of focus, motivation, or lack of understanding. Freshman Emily Rentschler feels this way.

“Adding days on the end of the year in my opinion is better. Sitting in my house while trying to focus is hard. Sitting in a classroom and watching teachers show you and teach the material first-hand is easier,” Rentschler said.

Others believe that e-learning days are less effective because students aren’t trying to learn anything and are most likely not even working on their assignments while at home.

“I’d say adding more days to the school year is more effective because whenever we have an e-learning day, students don’t do their homework, and they just do something else other than homework,” Freshman Henry Charles said.

Some have differing opinions on which they personally prefer and which they think is better learning-wise.

“Although I prefer e-learning days over snow days, I’d have to say snow days are somewhat more efficient in helping students learn. As we’ve seen with the hybrid schedule that was implemented the year after the world went on lockdown, there were several issues regarding turning in work and communication between teachers and students. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that snow days made up at the end of the school year are much better at allowing students to have an easier time learning than e-learning days,” Freshman Wendy Matias-Pablo stated.

For now though and most likely many years to come, before the school corporation finds a better alternative, Logansport schools are unlikely to have another free snow day.