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Superintendent gives virtual learning assignment on snowy day: 'Play in snow' and 'throw snowballs'

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Posted at 6:36 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 08:36:46-05

FORTVILLE, Ind. — A central Indiana superintendent gave students some fun "assignments" to complete on the first snow day of the year.

With the institution of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, many families thought snow days to be a thing of the past for students. But when snowfall led to messy roads across parts of Indiana, there were still several dozen schools that chose to either delay or cancel classes.

Dr. Jack Parker, Superintendent at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation sent a letter to parents canceling in-person learning in favor of virtual learning — but not the type of virtual learning typically seen amid the pandemic.

The note to parents went on to give two assignments that included playing in the snow and throwing snowballs.

"Students will use the scientific process in planning appropriate clothing to remain warm and dry while spending time outside. Once the hypothesis has been identified, and appropriate attire has been secured, students will be expected to test their theory by going outdoors and playing in the snow," Parker's note read.

"Step two of this assignment will be to practice the skills of estimation and measurement when throwing snowballs at one another while maintaining a minimum of 6' of distance with others outside of your household. When being with said snowball, students are expected to practice their social skills and to use their good words."

He even gave students a chance to earn some extra credit.

"Extra credit can be earned by helping to shovel sidewalks and/or driveways," Parker wrote.

And of course, students who aren't feeling well were given an alternate assignment to complete.

"Students who are not feeling well will be expected to complete the alternative assignment of resting indoors and drinking plenty of fluids," the letter read.

You can read the full letter to parents from Superintendent Dr. Jack Parker below:

Today, Wednesday, December 16, 2020, is our first snow-day of the school year. As snow continues to fall, the Mt Vernon Community School Corporation is canceling all in-person learning activities for the day. All students and staff will experience virtual learning from their homes. Today will be dedicated for review and catch-up on assignments. All students have only one new assignment today.

Students will use the scientific process in planning appropriate clothing to remain warm and dry while spending time outside. Once this hypothesis has been identified, and appropriate attire has been secured, students will be expected to test their theory by going outdoors and playing in the snow.

Step two of this assignment will be to practice the skills of estimation and measurement when throwing snowballs at one another while maintaining a minimum of 6’ of distance with others outside of their household. When being hit with said snowball, students are expected to practice their social skills and to use their good words.

Extra credit can be earned by helping to shovel sidewalks and/or driveways.

Students will self-report their grades to their teachers tomorrow during our regular virtual-learning day. Teachers have the option to not record this as a graded assignment. Students who are not feeling well will be expected to complete the alternative assignment of resting indoors and drinking plenty of fluids.

Opportunities to work on assignments given on previous days, as well as consulting with teachers on this school-work, can be made throughout the day via e-mail or other teacher directed communication media.

This story was originally published by Katie Cox on WRTV in Indianapolis.