Students across Arkansas learn during AMI days
Educators have become more flexible and students continue to learn through AMI (Alternative Method of Instruction) days.
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – During this week of winter weather in Arkansas, many schools in the area have closed and are embracing so-called “AMI days.” But what exactly are these?
JB Hunt Elementary School in Springdale is usually packed with students, but on snowy days like today, it’s empty. However, educators have become more flexible and students continue to learn through AMI (Alternative Method of Instruction) days.
“We created a situation where there is some flexibility so they can thrive no matter what setting they are in,” said Leah Padilla, the principal of Janie Darr Elementary at Rogers.
She says while their focus is on literacy and math, they send students flexible classes home on snow days.
“It’s not just sitting on a pencil and paper or on a computer, we’re trying to create situations where they have to apply those essential standards in real life.”
While some observe the state of matter outside, other students use the weather in other ways.
Lauren Crespin is both a teacher and a parent in Springdale, but still chose to take her two children on a sledding break at JB Hunt Park. “Just remember to take breaks in your day,” Crespin said. “Keep calm. We don’t expect you to come out like a master’s thesis after AMI.”
She says her circumstances as a teacher and her husband’s home have helped, but that she empathizes with other parents.
“They don’t get paid extra because they have to stay at home and be teachers. So I really feel for those people, especially in these times, you know, when we have to miss three or four days in a row.”
That’s one of the reasons Fayetteville’s Assistant Superintendent Joy Shirley says they send packages home. “We know we need to meet families and students where they are,” Shirley said.
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But ultimately, these AMI days are designed to help continue a child’s learning and hopefully keep their summer plans intact.
“If we missed something, we have to make up for it. And we need to think about when is the actual time for quality teaching.”
While many are at home enjoying their snow days, both educators and parents agree that they look forward to seeing students back on campus once all the ice has melted.
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