Guilford County Schools offering online learning resources during snow days

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools is sending a message to parents this week saying “snow” learning is better than no learning.

The school district is offering optional online resources for students while they stay home from school due to the weather.

“Any absence results in unfinished learning,” said Dr. Whitney Oakley, the assistant superintendent for teaching, learning and professional development. “We have that times seven times 73,000 kids.”

Oakley has been tasked with organizing the online programs. She said GCS Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras came up with the idea for this after her church offered an online session for those who couldn't attend service on Sunday.

“I think the 'why' in the urgency is really because the unique scenario. We've already missed seven days of school and there is still a lot of melting left to happen,” Oakley said.

Now, any GCS student can find day-to-day content for multiple subjects online. New resources were just added Wednesday. There's also an opportunity to interact with someone via Skype for those who need help.

Jen Arberg, the K-12 director of mathematics, has been communicating with students using video chat this week.

“I think it's been fun for students to see that we do have people in the district that really want the best for me and are willing to take time out of their snow days to help me succeed,” Arberg said.

One of the students utilizing the online resources and the video session is Mariah Woodward.

“It's really helpful,” said Mariana Woodward, Mariah’s mom. “We love it because sometimes as a parent you can only do so much. Sometimes you don't know what's new out there, like coding. I said ‘Excuse me, what is coding?’ Then the person explained and sent the link so we were able to try it out and actually we can do it now.”

Woodward is a 5-year-old kindergarten student who wants to grow up to become a dentist.

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