A contingency for coming to school sick

A way for students to stay home sick and not spend the rest of the week playing catch up and lowering herd immunity.

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          This plan came from a current issue at our school. The newest strain of the plague has descended. A friend of mine came to school, and the first words out of her mouth were “I have a fever and I think I have pneumonia.” She was coming to school “because skipping it would be more painful than coming to school on the verge of death.” And it isn’t just her. Students across school are doing the same thing, and I am angry about it because I woke up today feeling a bit under the weather myself. Teachers and students alike are not feeling themselves, and the strain it puts on interpersonal relationships is clear. I realized that there is absolutely no contingency for missing school due to illness. There is only the option of making up the work missed at the end of the day (sometimes over the course of several days, if students missed a lot) and I find this unacceptable. That is why I propose that teachers create online logs of annotated class notes, that will be posted at the end of the day.  Most of the classes at my school have successfully integrated technology, and generally annotate a slideshow of their notes each class. Attached is an example of one such note. All that would need to be modified is to post these notes. Any unfamiliar topics to the sick student could likely be searched for online, and other resources like Khan Academy could be employed. This only leaves tests, presentations, and labs to make up. While this seems like a sizable remainder, it is rare for large assignments from different classes to sync. If students actually stayed home, they could heal faster and get back to school having missed a minimal amount of classes. This will definitely improve the relationship between students and teachers, and I know that my parents would rather see me get better than force myself to go to school sick and possibly get them sick in the process. 

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Photo of Nicole Cummings
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Hi Cooper,
My name is Nicole I am one of the Teachers Guild Ambassadors. Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I mean when you have to make up a class in college you more than not have access to materials missed so when not at the high school and middle school level. Sounds like a great opportunity to also just have for parents to see what's happening inside of their child's classroom as well. Have you tried piloting something like this via google classroom.? Accounts are free for both teachers and students and might be a starting place. Thanks again. Twitter Handle @ENicoleCumm

Photo of John Faig
Team

There is a range of tools to support students from home. An LMS helps keep students organized - as do the tools already mentioned. It is worthwhile to beef up contingency plans for situations, such as (1) school closed for an extended period of time, (2) inclement weather, (3) student traveling (untimely family vacation, athlete attending special camp during the school year, etc.), family emergency, and so on.

Photo of Jennifer Gaspar- Santos
Team

Thanks for offering this idea Cooper! It's unfortunate that students feel like they have to come to school sick in order to keep up with work.

I like your idea of leveraging tech in order to allow the learning to continue at home. Tools like EdPuzzle and Google Classroom can help with this. Have you used them?

EdPuzzle: It allows teachers to embed questions or "easter eggs" in the video so that teachers can assess student understanding during a video.

Another one:

VideoNot.es is also a great tool for capturing student notes. http://www.videonot.es