Asynchronous Days Need to Stay
Snow, sleep, sledding, and hot chocolate are all things that may come to mind when thinking about a snow-day, but what if you could enjoy all of those things while avoiding the dreaded make-up day that is bound to come.
Students and staff recently completed the first asynchronous day of the school year on Jan. 10. This was due to the Literature Keystone Exam that all sophomores and select juniors had to take.
All students not taking the exam were required to complete asynchronous assignments for each of their classes, and students taking the Literature exam were excused. In order to be marked present for the day, students had to complete all assignments by 8 p.m.
Students often enjoy these days because it gives them a chance to sleep in and regroup. Many students even catch up on missing work or get ahead on other assignments.
Often times students feel that when working on schoolwork at home they can be more efficient and productive. Although being at home adds distractions, such as family members and electronics, it also eliminates some distractions that are in the classroom, such as friends and noise.
Furthermore, students are able to pace themselves at a speed that works best for them. This may mean completing all the assignments in the morning or working on them gradually throughout the day.
With the many benefits that these days bring, comes the idea of implementing asynchronous snow days.
Many schools are turning to the idea of using a “Flexible Learning Day” in order to avoid making up the school day later. This would allow students to complete an assignment for each class at home, while eliminating the make-up day.
This year already, there was a snow-day on Dec. 15, and the district had to make it up on Jan. 16 2. Students often look forward to these national holidays as a day to take a break and relax.
The snow make-up days for the 2022-2023 school year, in order, are Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 10, April 11, April 6, and June 9.
Having asynchronous days instead of snow days allows for students to stay on track with learning. Teachers even have the option of having a day where students can make up missing work for them, therefore eliminating some of the stress of grading at the end of the marking period.
Families often plan trips over Martin Luther King and Presidents Day weekend, and even more commonly over the spring break. Not having to make up the snow day would greatly benefit adults planning these trips as well.
Even though asynchronous days have many positives, with anything, comes downfalls.
A worry is that students would not complete their assignments, and therefore be marked absent for the school day. Another conflict is that students may need to watch younger siblings, and some may not have access to working internet.
Another problem that could exist is the issue of power. Snow and ice can cause power outages for many in Lebanon County when there is a bad storm.
Even though there are issues with having flexible learning days, students are used to the virtual learning techniques and skills after being shut down in spring of 2020 and utilizing hybrid learning the following year.
It is no doubt that students are experts at using learning programs such as Schoology, Microsoft 365, and Skyward. This gives students an advantage when required to work on assignments at home.
In this situation, the benefits outweigh the risks. Students can have a day to relax and enjoy the snow while continuing to learn and grow even if at home.