Flexible instruction day; students weigh in

Davis Corman and Luke Fisher

Adapting with technology

As winter comes around, snow does too. Administrators in the school have to make decisions on whether to have a classic snow day, or an FID. FID stands for Flexible Instruction Day, which is a replacement for snow days or any other weather-related school cancelation. 

During an FID, teachers will assign one assignment to their students that they have to complete by the next day. Meaning, students are able to sleep in and get proper rest, similar to a traditional snow day.

While many people think students can’t learn online properly, I think having students do a few assignments online during an FID is a good way to keep students from forgetting what they have been learning in school. 

FIDs are also good for students because we don’t have to make the day up during the summer, like we would for a classic snow day.

Students will not have to wake up early because there are no required Google Meets. This is better for the students because more sleep is proven to help the average student according to a study done by the CDC. Many students get overwhelmed from school work, and an FID allows them to get the sleep they need and deserve without having to make it up. As the end of the year approaches, many students start to fall behind and their focus changes from school to the summer break. 

All assignments given on an FID have an extended due date for the next day. This allows the students to relax during the day as well as keeping up with the curriculum. 

“I personally like Flexible Instruction Days better because they allow me to play in the snow as well as keep up in school,” senior Ty Kroell said. 

Overall, Flexible Instruction Days are better due to no school makeup days, realistic assignment expectations, and the time that students can use to actually enjoy the snow without being stressed for work. Online learning can be just as beneficial for students than in-person class.

Technology is crippling our youth

As technology continues to progress at an exponential rate, society has been altered to conform to its advancement. This has been never the more evident in school, where snow days are becoming online learning days. However, we must refrain from this change as it is making the youth less capable in the real world. 

Every year, as winter comes around, many students across the Bellefonte School District look forward to the looming snow days that come with Central Pennsylvania weather.

 “There is never a better feeling when we get the call saying we have the day off,” senior Blair Eckely Jones said.

However, in recent years, the district has transitioned into becoming more dependent on technology. Their moves have been supported by state government,  which has passed legislation that enables schools to circumvent making up snow days. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, “A Flexible Instructional Day (FID) is a program available to public school entities to be used as an alternate approach to delivering instruction if a circumstance arises that prevents instruction in a customary manner.”

As a result, Bellefonte specifically has utilized this law on snow days so that we do not have to make it up in the summer. Despite this obvious benefit, it does not outweigh the various drawbacks.

With technology becoming more prevalent within people’s lives, children have experienced a massive increase in screen time. 

Bellefonte junior Cole Crissman said that current screentime, “…isn’t comparable to how much we used Chromebooks today than we did five years ago.”

Due to this significant increase, major health concerns have arisen that the website Health Matters explains. 

“As people have increased screen time, there has been the  thinning of the brain’s cortex, the area of the brain related to critical thinking and reasoning.”

Snow days provide us with an escape from the constant use of technology, a time to relax and enjoy life. However, in enforcing FID days, screen time for students just quantifies, exposing them to further health risk.

Moreover, in addition to health concerns, it is disliked by various students at BAHS. 

“I would much rather have snow days than FID days. Getting a break from school through the winter is unmatched,” sophomore Trevor Johnson said. 

Whether it be the health concerns that arise, or general unpopularity among multiple BAHS students, all are exactly why Bellefonte must get rid of the FID policy and return to snow days.