MFL MarMac planning for virtual learning on snow days

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac school board, at a Jan. 10 special meeting, authorized a plan proposed by administration that would make the district’s next four snow days—should there be that many—virtual learning days.


Inclement weather, paired with treacherous gravel road conditions, has forced MFL MarMac to cancel six days of school so far. Luckily, said superintendent Dale Crozier, the district, at 1,142 instructional hours, is 62 beyond the 1,080 hours required by the state per school year.


Crozier noted the state won’t recognize any virtual learning days as counting toward instructional hours, but they will count toward teacher contracts. 


“We want to make it as meaningful as we can, but all know a virtual day is never anything like a face-to-face day. That would be a way we could offer something if we have another snowstorm,” Crozier said.


Middle school principal Denise Mueller said the principals felt this was a better option than tacking on days to the end of the school year.


“Once the day goes by you’re supposed to get out, the kids, in their head, are ready for summer. Maybe you feel like you don’t get a lot out of the virtual, but we don’t get a lot out of days in June or late May either. Either way, it’s days to make up and you have to figure out which way you want to do it,” she explained.


For elementary students, a virtual day would include completing a packet of work sent home ahead of time. 


Middle and high school students would be required to complete assignments posted to their Canvas sites, according to high school principal Larry Meyer. Teachers would also hold at least an hour of office time over Zoom to allow students to meet with them or ask questions about the work.


“There would be requirements,” Crozier stressed. 


Board will continue to have at-large members

At last week’s meeting, the board approved the director district renewal and resolution per 2020 Census data with no change. This means MFL MarMac voters will continue to elect seven at-large school board members rather than, for example,  one representative per specific area throughout the district.


The board must review this every 10 years, said Crozier. He sees no reason to change, noting that school directors already represent a mix of communities.


“When MFL and MarMac reorganized, whoever came up with the idea of having seven at-large members, that was a good idea. It’s really worked well,” he said.


Plans to be developed for science room, press box projects

The board gave Crozier the go-ahead to hire Martin Gardner Architecture to develop designs and plans for science room remodeling as well as a new press box with a storage shed at the bottom. 


Crozier said work on either project would not begin prior to his retirement this summer. Completion would be left to the incoming superintendent.


Business ads discussed

Crozier said there are plans to re-do the business advertisements in the high school gym and on the football field. 


“People who support us pay an amount to have a sign, and we’re not getting much revenue from that. It’s been a long time coming that we need to re-do that,” he stated.


The advertisements were originally used to pay for new scoreboards, with a more significant up front cost for businesses, then smaller payments over time as the scoreboards were paid off, according to Crozier. Now, those scoreboards have reached their life expectancy and need to be replaced.


“Now, we’re going to need to buy a new football scoreboard, and we are purchasing a new scoreboard for the gym, so now is the time to re-do this,” he said.

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