Online school held for the safety of student drivers


Keenan Schember

The administration made the decision to call a snow day today, as they felt the roads were too dangerous for students to drive to school safely.

Emma Bird, Staff Writer

This year, as the first winter storm approached, the BSM administration decided to utilize the ability to conduct online school, and called the first snow day of the year.

The primary factor in the decision of holding online school instead of a regular school day was concern for the safety of BSM students. “The main reason we called online school is for safety. Especially for inexperienced drivers, a morning commute like the one today can be dangerous. There were many accidents across the metro, and in particular a few on highway 100 near BSM,” principal Dr. Sue Skinner said.

Last year, Minnesota experienced frigid temperatures that caused many schools, BSM included, to close on multiple days. In response to these cold days, BSM held online school, an option which allows students to complete homework assignments assigned by teachers at home.

While safety was the primary cause of today’s snow day, a huge aspect in this decision was the fact that online school is an option for BSM. “BSM is in a unique position to be able to have online school in a meaningful way. Basically we are the only school in the metro that was able to close our building, yet continue with school,” Skinner said.

Dr. Skinner recognizes that on days such as today, online school makes more sense, as it is simply more efficient for students to stay home in order to get work done. “We did not have students driving to school this morning in slow and potentially dangerous traffic, only to arrive late and frazzled. Calling online school allows us to swap drive time, [meaning] long, slow commutes, for more focused learning time,” Skinner said.

While online school does have clear advantages, this doesn’t mean that it will be called every time it snows this winter. “We will not be calling online school at the first sign of snow. We will use a balanced approach to making these kinds of decisions. [With online school] we do not get to see our students face to face, which is our preference,” Skinner said.