Today’s snowy weather (Monday, January 25) was a good reminder to communicate with parents and students about Rocky Ford School District’s plans for possible snow days. After the snow day in December, the district was able to collect some information about the feasibility of automatically replacing snow days (and other emergency closures) with remote learning. While students and staff are much more experienced with remote learning due to the extreme circumstances this year, this does not mean that the internet service in the area is problem free. The internet service in rural areas does not compare very well to the service available in the more populated urban areas. For example, it is not uncommon for Denver residents to have access to internet service that provides download speeds between 80 and 100 Mbps. Meanwhile, Rocky Ford residents can consider themselves to have good internet service if their download speed is 15 Mbps. It might take rural areas a while to catch up to our urban counterparts. The same is true for the underlying infrastructure for internet service in rural areas. Disruptions to internet service can be expected and extreme weather could possibly make the connection issues worse.
In short, 100% remote learning days can be challenging because of the internet access issues especially in the midst of inclement weather. The trouble is worth it when necessary. However, Rocky Ford School District typically has four snow days built into the calendar. Therefore, it makes sense to use a snow day if the circumstances call for it.
To summarize, if Rocky Ford School District has snow days remaining in the calendar for the year and an emergency closure is needed, then the school district will cancel all instruction services for the day including remote learning. (Please remember that emergency closures can happen for more reasons than just snow. A burst water line, for example, would also be a reason why the school district could cancel instruction for the day and use a “snow day”.)
As of January 25, Rocky Ford School District has used two snow days for the 2020/2021 school year. There are two remaining snow days available in this year’s academic calendar. If the district has to use those two snow days, they will be days in which all instructional services are cancelled including remote learning. In the event that the remaining two snow days are used at some future point this year, any other snow days or emergency closures would be replaced with remote learning.
Please call Central Office (719-254-7423) if there are any questions concerning this matter.