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Editorial: Flexible learning days have a future

The Farmington School District’s new flexible learning days are pretty clearly a work in progress. When the district held its first on President’s Day in an attempt to make up some of the teaching time lost to frigid weather this winter there were concerns about teachers assigning too much work in some cases, not enough in others.

Parents were concerned because they didn’t know where to find the work that had been assigned, or because they didn’t feel prepared to provide the kind of help some of their children needed.

It was, in many ways, a trial run. And while something like it had been discussed even before the start of this school year, the reality came quicker than anyone in the district might have expected.

By many accounts, things had gotten better when the district was forced to close schools Friday for the sixth time this winter. Teachers had a better grip on what constituted a reasonable workload. Students had a better idea what was expected of them.

Responding to a question on the Independent Town Pages’ Farmington Facebook page, parents seemed mostly happy that their children were learning rather than spending a snow day stuck in front of the television.

Judging by discussion at Monday’s school board meeting flexible learning days might never fully replace the class time lost to snow days. Time with an iPad will never replace time with a teacher.

But the days are a good use of the technology the district has at its disposal. They’re a way to make sure students keep learning even when the buses aren’t running.

That’s a very good thing.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606