Schools tackle snow-day brain drain with home activities

Hannah Seaver (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Hannah Seaver (Source: WAVE 3 News)
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens (Source: WAVE 3 News)
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Emily Kirkpatrick (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Emily Kirkpatrick (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Now that Jefferson County Public Schools and other area districts have announced they will stay closed Thursday, school officials are getting creative to help prevent snow-day brain drain.

When you first hear snow day, sledding, snowball fights and even a trip to the mall may come to mind. However, after three straight snow days, for some, brain freeze may be setting in.

So, throughout Kentuckiana, school districts are finding ways to engage students outside the classroom.

"I've always done photography, so it was kind of just a great opportunity," said Hannah Seaver, 17, of Douglass Hills.

For the Male High School senior, Wednesday's photography session served not only as a hobby, but as an assignment.

"It was a photo challenge for basically capturing the essence of winter and the snow days," Seaver said.

Seaver took on the Jefferson County Public Schools challenge, freezing a still image of a snowflake.

"The snowflake landed on my coat actually while I was taking pictures and I was like, 'That is gorgeous,'" Seaver said.

The photo challenge, which will be judged by a panel of regional artists, is just one way JCPS leaders are trying to keep learning in session even if school is not.

The other is a reading challenge from JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens.

"I'd like to say to all of our students, read something," Hargens said at the city's daily weather briefing Tuesday.

"Learning and snow and bad weather can indeed go hand in hand," said Emily Kirkpatrick, the Vice President of the National Center for Families and Learning. The Louisville-based organization has partnered with JCPS to connect families with structured educational activities through sites and apps called Wonderopolis.

"We offer a wonder of the day, which is an opportunity to learn," Kirkpatrick said. "(Wednesday's) Wonder Of The Day is, 'Why do you need toes?'"

Through the partnerships and activities, school leaders hoped to add some scholastics to a little winter fun for an equation sure to keep students both educated and entertained.

With I-STEP practice testing scheduled to begin at many Indiana schools next week, district leaders are remaining optimistic that school will be back in session by then. Like the I-STEP, actual testing for it and the Kentucky ACT is slated to begin as scheduled the week of March 2.

Bullitt County Schools also issued a photo challenge to its students. A panel of professional photographers will judge the more than 100 entries. The entry deadline is Thursday at 11 p.m. Winners will be announced next week.

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