"learning can occur at any time and place..." -Philosophy statement of TPLC
Frigid temperatures, heavy snow, and gusting winds led to the cancellation of school in parts of the U.S. Even some of our southern states had Snow Days today.
Many districts have a set number of emergency closing days built into their schedules. But for some unlucky students (and staff), Snow Days must be made up via an extension of the school year. What seems like a gift in January becomes a burden in May or June.
Turning Point Learning Center (TPLC), a K-8 charter school in Emporia Kansas, takes a different approach.
When classes were canceled this morning, TPLC Director/teacher Ginger Lewman's students opened a Scribd page to access their schedule for the day. Says Ginger,
"We meet via iChat, then they just work away. If a kid can't chat, then they get the assignment via email. If they don't have internet or electricity, they just call us and we count them absent. No biggie. If they don't call us, we call them and ask what's up to the parents. Parents know this. See, it's [doing schoolwork] not a 'have to' thing... And we'd prefer to work and not have to go an extra day during the beautiful month of May. AND the kids really do care about meeting their deadlines."
TPLC students have been utilizing online tools all year, and are used to "getting together, chatting and working. When we come back to school, they'll expect that everyone worked and no one will have to wait to have the others catch up."
As one member of my PLN remarked, "If more schools operated like TPLC does we would not have the educational issues that we do in this country."
Ginger gave us permission to share her resources, only asking,
"If you blog, please do share the link back with us. I'd love to show the kids that we're being looked at and that their hard work's worth it. I always tell them we're changing the face of education, but it's hard to believe when you're a kid."
If students from the Turning Point Learning Center would like to comment on their Snow Day activities - or on any other aspect of education - I'm sure we'd all love to hear their Voices.
"School bus covered in snow" by ecksunderscore