AURORA, Ind. -- Last year, Dearborn High School students experienced flooding and heavy snow that kept them stranded at home for days at a time. However, thanks to the incorporation of e-learning into their district's curriculum, that didn't mean they had to miss school.
"Most of my classes were online, so I was able to email my teachers, and within a couple of hours I would have a response," senior Rachel Montes said. "Then, since they were online, I could finish my homework or study for a test. I would be on top of it, even if we weren't at school."
Montes, who hopes to enter the medical field someday, might to some ears sound suspiciously cheerful for a student with less access to the long-treasured institution of snow days. However, she's not alone.
Science teacher Pete Brown said he and other teachers like remote learning because it gives the district a bad-weather option that doesn't involve adding extra days to a trimester. In Dearborn County, he said, that used to be a particular concern; winter storms could knock the entire district behind schedule.
"It keeps our school year shorter, so we don't go as far into the summer and don't chew up as much of the break," Brown said.
It also means he doesn't have to pack his curriculum into increasingly small windows of time as the district loses days to Mother Nature's whims.
What about the students without consistent internet access, though?
"We've developed a number of workarounds that will still allow students to be engaged in those days, even though that may be the situation at home," South Dearborn Community School Corporation superintendent Eric Lows said.