LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — Denver, Douglas, Boulder Valley, Jefferson and most other major school districts across the Front Range all canceled classes and operations within their school systems because of Wednesday’s weather.
One school district in Boulder County opted for an online remote learning day instead.
In Longmont, St. Vrain Valley students did not have to physically come in for school Wednesday, but some parents said what students had to do was still a bit of a burden on a day they felt should be used for fun and a break.
“We love the school district, we love where we are. We just want our snow days back,” said Jayme Holcombe, a parent of two St. Vrain students.
Instead of a snow day, the district opted to give students what they call a shortened online learning day.
“It’s difficult for a couple of reasons,” Holcombe said. “I really want to see snow days come back where our kids can be kids and our teachers get a break. Our teachers work so hard during the school year to prepare, then they have prepare online learning in addition at the very last-minute on a snow day. It’s difficult.”
St. Vrain schools aims to keep students connected
The school district said they have been using this inclement weather model for several years. Students log in to get their instructions from teachers in the morning on a shortened schedule before completing their assignments later in the day.
The district told FOX31 that many parents want their students to have an opportunity to engage with their teachers and classmates and to have access to their teacher’s office hours, but parents say it makes their students curious when they know other districts nearby have the day off completely.
“Oftentimes I hear: ‘Why do we have to do school? Why do we have to log into our meetings when our friends don’t have to? That’s not fair.’ I mean, the entire neighborhood attends the same school. We are all dealing with the same thing. I never heard a single parent say, ‘I’m so excited they have online learning,'” Holcombe said.
While parents know their students’ success is the ultimate goal, they said they just want their kids to enjoy childhood while they can.
“I would love to just be able to spend time with them and go sledding with them in between my own work meetings just to enjoy it and enjoy letting them be kids and enjoy their childhood, instead of what feels like adulthood with meetings and school homework all day on a snow day. That’s tough,” Holcombe said.
The district does give parents the option to get an excuse if their student cannot or chooses not to participate in online learning, but the district did not specify how many parents typically use that option when we asked them.