Illinois district turns 'snow day' into 'e-learning day'

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) - Three Illinois school districts are participating in the state's "e-learning" program, which allows students to follow assigned digital lesson plans on snow days.

Among them is the Gurnee Elementary District 56, the Daily Herald reported. The district joined the program three years ago, but last week was its first e-learning attempt because there were no snow days in the previous two school years.

Superintendent John Hutton said that "staff did a terrific job of preparing the kids and made it as seamless as possible."

Hutton believes the e-learning day was a better option than making up a snow day at the end of the school year. He said the district surveyed students, staff members and parents this week about the experiences and found the feedback to be positive.

Hutton said that one concern was that there may have been too much for some students to do. He said some children took longer to complete assignments than they would on a normal school day.

"We are continuing to look for more feedback on this because we want to learn from experience," Hutton said. "I think for our first effort, staff did a terrific job and the kids took it seriously."

The district has been a leader in using technology in schools for several years.

The district first distributed Apple iPads to all 2,250 students in kindergarten through eighth grade in 2012.

Hutton was among 100 education leaders from across the country recognized for transitioning to digital education by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony in 2014.

The district also became a member of a nationwide organization focused on digital learning called the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools in 2015.


Information from: Daily Herald,

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