With the yearly allotment of snow days exhausted, should Kingston implement remote learning when snow is in the forecast or take the day off and subtract it from spring break? The answer isn’t straight-forward.
Kingston used its last snow day on February 18. On February 19, the district didn’t go remote, which means one day will be taken from spring break. On Monday, February 22, with snow forecast for the afternoon, the district decided to continue with instruction, but with all students learning remotely.
At the February 18 board meeting, Superintendent Paul Padalino spoke about some of the issues that come with switching to remote instruction on the fly.
“I know a lot of people like to point to other districts and their remote models,” said Padalino. “I want to point out, those districts have fewer employees in their high school or don’t have five unions. It’s not just teachers … it’s clerical, food service, custodians, maintenance. It goes far beyond just a remote learning environment for teachers.”
Padalino said this must be balanced against the district’s desire to maintain spring break for students.
Kingston has separated its in-person learning into two cohorts – one comes in on Monday and Tuesday, the other on Thursday and Friday. So far this year, most snow days have fallen at the beginning of the week, so they have disproportionately affected the first cohort. Padalino said the district is considering having that cohort come in for in-person instruction on any makeup days, regardless of what the schedule what have dictated for that day of the week.