Sleds and snow forts are giving way to computers and books as traditional school snow days change because of the option of remote learning.
Many schools across the Chicago area cancelled in-person classes Thursday because of the snow, but their students joined their classmates for online lessons.
"Times are not normal, so we can’t expect for everything to run as normal and we have to be adaptive, and part of that is the e-learning," said Katie Wagner, a mother of three boys who attend school in District 45 Villa Park.
Dr. Mark Klaisner of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools said e-learning offers the benefit of continuous learning.
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"Every district in the state of Illinois has done some version of remote learning over the past couple of years," Klaisner said. "This has become part of our norm, and it's at least an option in our toolbox as we’re trying to help do the best things for kids."
Klaisner also said e-learning during a snow day will not add to the school calendar.
"We sometimes have to remind students that this means that you won’t have to go an extra week in June or you won’t have to give up your spring break," Klaisner said.
So what does the changing snow day mean for today’s kids who may be missing out on the fun their parents or older siblings experienced?
"It’s a magical memory for many of us when reminiscing about our own childhood, but will kids miss out on that memory? Yes. But for some of our youngest kids, they’ve never had it," said Dr. Kathleen Sheridan of the University of Illinois Chicago.