Doing their best to avoid snow days

Pine Island Schools

PINE ISLAND, Minn. — You will likely not hear a student in school complain about a snow day and this year there has been plenty of those in our area.

Students in Pine Island are not getting off so easy. They are being put to work.

Those at Pine Island know how it works. If you take too many snow days, you have to make them up at the end of the year.

Leaders at the high school found a solution for that, take your school work home.

“I was like okay, it’s something new to try,” said Kaitlin Bronk, a senior at Pine Island High School.

Instead of sitting at home reading her favorite novel during the most recent snow days, she was reading text books.

“I ended up doing some Spanish work, some calculus homework and some other classes that I had,” Bronk said.

Instead of waiting until the next school day to get back to work, school leaders told high schoolers earlier in the week if there is a snow day, expect classwork.

“It’s been something we’ve talked about probably in the last month. The last two years now we’ve had eight snow days each year and with the tablets that we have and the technology that we gave the students. We thought this would be something that we could try,” said Pine Island High School Principal Kevin Cardille.

Each student is equipped with a tablet as part of their “blended learning” curriculum. Since they take them home often, they thought it would be a good way not to have to make up school later in the year.

“At least in the high school I think it was a productive way for us to use those two days that we didn’t really lose much and we certainly gained a lot of wealth of information on doing that in the future,” Cardille said.

School leaders would rather have students filling the halls then leaving them empty, but they know that if the weather calls for it, they have got a plan in place.

“It’s better that we do something and not just miss the day. My hopes are that we don’t have as many snow days in the future, but if we do we can use the tablets and continue on as we did here,” Cardille said.

Students like Bronk like the thought of getting done with school on time, even if it means a school work on a snow day.

“I hope that other schools try it in the future because I think it’s a really good idea,” Bronk said.

One of the issues that the district is left to figure out is the different in-school hours between grade levels. The high school students now have more than every other grade level.

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