Students still getting homework despite numerous snow days

School is canceled Thursday, but some students are still expected to work on assignments.
School is canceled Thursday, but some students are still expected to work on assignments.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – School is once again canceled due to weather Thursday, but some area students won’t get as much free time as they had hoped because more and more are getting homework during the off time.

Students at Southwest Allen County Schools and East Allen County Schools have required homework during snow days this year.

An email sent by a teacher at SACS said the lessons should be done by the next school day, or it would be considered late.

One parent, who has two children in the district, said there’s been a lot of homework.  “She’s had five or six hours a day,” Holly Stoicke said about her middle-school aged daughter’s workload.

Stoicke said she doesn’t mind the homework, but thought that if the students have so much work to do, then they shouldn’t have to make up the snow days.

“It’s really hard to know that even though they’re working and keeping up that they’re still going to be going to school until mid-June,” Stoicke said.  “If our students are keeping up on the school work, then let’s not make them go as many days.”

SACS Superintendent, Dr. Steve Yager said that’s not an option.  “It’s against the law,” he said.  School districts are required to have 180 school days each year.

“It’s better for them to be doing homework than sitting there watching television or playing on their table or computer,” Von Bultemeyer, whose daughter is a freshman at Homestead High School, said.  “I wouldn’t say they’re keeping out of trouble, but at least they’re productive.”

Yager said he was pleased teachers were sending home assignments.

“I find it sort of disheartening that some parents would say they don’t like our students having homework during snow days,” Yager said.  “I say we should celebrate that, in fact, we’ve had about a dozen families contact us, asking that our teachers send homework.”

With all the snow days this year, SACS has made a video explaining to parents when the district decides to cancel school, and the plan for making up those days later this year.  Click here to watch the video.

“We’re all frustrated with students not being able to come to school,” Yager said.  “We have 7,000 students and 1,000 employees, so we have 8,000 people whose safety we worry about.”

A spokesperson at EACS said thanks to their technology, students there have been assigned lessons to do during snow days.  The school district began distributing iPads to some students at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

At Fort Wayne Community Schools, a spokesperson said teachers there will suggest lessons for students to complete, but it is not required.

Dr. Yager also said Wednesday that his district is keeping its original date for high school graduation.  The ceremony is at 11 a.m at the Coliseum.  Yager said the district kept the date because many people had already made flight arrangements to come into town.  However, students will still have school days to attend after the ceremony.

“We will go a day or two beyond that right now,” Yager said.  “High school students will have to go, too.  That’s unusual for us.  It’s important that they’re there because that’s when we have high-stake exams for students who are looking for scholarships.”

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