Lambton-Kent public board dumps virtual snow day classes

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Large snowdrifts curl over the Reece's Corners to Wyoming Trail along Oil Heritage Road Saturday.
File Photo December 24, 2022

The Lambton-Kent District School Board is ditching virtual snow days.

Post pandemic, the board opted to close school buildings and have virtual classes instead. But a new study says that wasn’t working.

The Student Attendance Strategy says “students can easily slip into habitual absence of more than 10 per cent of the time –two or more days per month …The more frequently a student is absent from school, the more difficult it is for the student to be re-engaged. Addressing student absences early may be able to prevent the downward spiral into greater disengagement.”

Director of Education John Howitt said virtual learning wasn’t engaging students.

“Rural internet limitations across our district, among other issues, provided great challenges and many students were unable to participate fully, if at all,” said Howitt in a news release.

“Expecting our staff, parents and families to make the necessary preparations for their students and children to attend online, with little to no notice ahead of time is unreasonable,” added Howitt.

The board will return to the policy of open schools even if weather cancels leads to bus cancellations.