Cold and connected: eLearning replaces traditional school closing during frigid weather


Schoology opened up on a Chromebook

Bridget Maher, Staff Reporter

Riverside Brookfield High School will be closed on Wednesday, January 30 and Thursday, January 31 in order to keep students home and safe from the record-breaking low temperatures that have swept through the Chicago area. Though students are bundled up at home, this does not stop them from furthering their knowledge. With a new focus on eLearning, students are able to continue their coursework through their Chromebooks.

“Instead of students having to risk coming to school, they can learn from the comfort of their own home,” said Bridget Wilmot, Instructional Technology Coordinator.

Students are required to check in for attendance via Google Forms and complete an assignments posted by their teachers in Schoology. These assignments can be completed any time during the day, but the student must check into all seven periods by 12:00 pm in order to be counted present.

“There were other schools in the area who were using it [eLearning], so we reached out to them to do some research and find out how they implemented it,” said Wilmot.

Assignments will be due within two days of the post and are expected to be completed just like any normal school work. Teachers were asked to supply relevant learning experiences that are in line with the current curriculum that they are focusing on in their classes, and to provide students with an opportunity to continue that learning outside of the building.

“One of the best things about having Chromebooks is that we know that things happen that prevent us from being in the building, but it allows our students to continue their educational progression without necessarily having to be here in the event of an emergency,” said Assistant Principal Kylie Lindquist.

The eLearning day is to be treated like any other school day. If a student fails to check in with their classes, it will count against the student as an unverified absence. Parents can call a student in if their internet is down, or if the student is sick.

Without eLearning, the school would be forced to extend the school year until after Memorial Day, which is not in the best interest of staff nor students. If more than three-fourths of the students sign in, then the day will be counted as a regular school day, hence the huge push in announcements regarding the system.

“It makes things easier in the long run if we’re not playing catch up at the end,” said Lindquist.