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Staley News

The news site of Staley High School

Staley News

The news site of Staley High School

Staley News

Editorial: District Gets It Right With Virtual Days

With Consideration Of Students’ Home Situations, AMI Days Work
Joey Taylor

When temperatures drop to sub zero or snow begins to fall, students often hope to get the call that there is a snow day. Even being woken up with the message that you can go back to sleep is the best feeling. Snow days used to be something that people dreaded making up at the end of the school year but were excited to get so they could sleep in for the day.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts realized they didn’t have to take snow days as long as students had technology, doing what was called “Alternative Method of Instruction Days,” or AMI days. While it is nice to not have to make up the days at the end of the year, not everybody has the same experience.

On AMI days, there is a schedule where teachers are supposed to have a Microsoft Teams meeting and give a 20-minute lesson on what to do for the day. This method saved students and teachers from having to make up days at the end of the school year.

This new policy might also help increase the likelihood that the school district will call off in person learning. This year in particular, Kansas City has had some record-low temps. and on Jan. 15, a minus 35-degree wind chill was recorded at Kansas City International Airport, the coldest wind chill ever recorded at the airport, according to KCTV-5.

These temps make it dangerous for students to wait for buses or even those who walk to school. With the AMI option in place, it seems like the district is more willing to call school for something besides snow, such as frigid temperatures.

For some however, AMI days might not be something to look forward to. If a student doesn’t have Wi-Fi, they would miss out on possible assignments and lessons for that day. Some don’t have a place that is quiet or somewhere they feel comfortable showing on camera. Outside factors might make them choose not to log in to their classes.

Other students think it is much easier to join a Teams call for four blocks rather than make up an entire seven-hour school day. The schedule even allows for a 30-minute lunch break in between the third and fourth block. Being able to keep students and teachers home to learn instead of braving the elements to get to in-person school is a great option for the majority of students.

The snow-day policy in the North Kansas City School District says after three days of regular snow days, there will be AMI days for any remaining “snow days” the rest of the year.

It is much easier to log on to Canvas for a couple hours than to make up days at the end of the school year. However, there are factors that need to be considered to help those who don’t have the same at-home options, such as having the assignments available to those who can’t make the Teams call and posting announcements. This would also help students who still have to go to off-campus college classes. But the AMI days help students and teachers avoid make-up days, and that is beneficial.

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