Snow days have changed plenty over the years. I remember being a kid, growing up in northern Minnesota, and huddling up with my younger brother around the radio for the announcement. A day off meant hours of video games. In that day it was Atari.

Fast forward to my kids. An automated call from the school, in addition to the list of schools on the radio station, were highly anticipated. The video games they played were way cooler than what I had.

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More recently, Twitter and other social media, might have overtaken radio for the first means of communication. And the video games now look like real-life. Unfortunately, for the current students, video games will have to take a back seat to E-learning. No longer will a snow day mean a chance to sleep in or goof off.

The Owatonna School district November e-newsletter announces, "Our approach to inclement weather days will be changing this year due to our new experiences with virtual learning." Another thing to blame COVID for.

The announcement states, "We will use E-Learning days where students in grades K-12 will continue learning from home with support from their teachers instead of going into school."

The newsletter says devices will be issued to elementary students (K-5th grade) when the forecast is calling for bad weather. Students in sixth grade through high school "will be expected to check in and engage according to their daily scheduled classes and expectations."

We still encourage you to listen to the radio and watch our websites or download our app for the latest weather-related news this winter.

The Owatonna school newsletter also includes an update on COVID-19. Using multiple sources of information, "the current learning model of in-person at the elementary and hybrid for middle and (high) school will remain in effect."

The district invites residents to learn more about the two levy questions that are on the November 3 ballot by visiting the district's website.