Snow days have gone virtual post-COVID

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 8:22 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The days of kids huddled in front of a TV waiting to see an alert that there’s a snow day have drifted away. Now, students and teachers have adapted to distance learning post-COVID.

One Bismarck family spent their time Wednesday under blanket forts doing their homework and navigating the challenges that online learning brings.

“I feel like it’s like managing everything and trying to get everything done, even without instruction because some of my teachers just upload a post,” said Anna Pflinger, senior at Century High School.

For educators, recent snow days mean more planning.

“These are ones where we don’t necessarily have advanced notice. Maybe we would have like 12 hours notice that this is going to happen or less. And so, it’s a little bit more, you have to keep a lesson in your back pocket as an idea of what you could go to,” said Erin Finneman, 8th-grade teacher at Wachter Middle School.

She says online learning during the pandemic helped prepare students and faculty for virtual days.

“I do not think that without our experiences with COVID, I feel like we wouldn’t turn as readily to these virtual days, instead of just canceling and then having to make up that time later,” said Finneman.

One of the greatest challenges for educators when it comes to distance learning is not having face-to-face connections with their students.

“Individual students and their needs. There are a number of students that when you’re in the classroom, you can stop by their desk, and encourage them to keep going, you know, answer questions. There are students who aren’t necessarily comfortable with asking questions or raising their hand so, you know, you have to stop by their desk,” said Finneman.

Throughout the day, educators have set up designated times to meet with students to ensure progress in learning.

Students throughout the Bismarck Public Schools District and Mandan Public Schools District had online learning Wednesday.