Are NTI Days worth having

On Jan. 13, Gov. Beshear signed into law that the state will provide 10 instructional days per school due to absences of students or staff. It states, “Remote instruction may be provided to each school in a school district, 12 including to a particular grade, classroom, or group of students within the school, for up 13 to 10 days per school under this section.”

Are NTI days worth having?

Just the other week we had four school days called off due to weather conditions. However, instead of just having normal snow days that would be made up at later dates, they have decided to have students work asynchronously from home. This is good because now these days don’t have to be made up later in the year when we all just wanna leave and go on vacation. However, unlike last year there are no actual classes on zoom during these NTI days, just assignments given from teachers that you have to do for attendance. So that begs the question: Are NTI days worth having if there are no actual classes?

What are the actual assignments that are given during these NTI days? In my experience, it’s usually just small review assignments instead of actual new material. However, some students say that they have been learning new content during these days. “Most classes have just been reviewed but I have had a few classes where they teach new stuff,” junior Keith Conrad said.

So it’s not really like a normal school day, despite replacing what would’ve been snow days. Conrad also said he spends about 4 hours on these assignments per day. Out of all the people I talked to the time spent on these assignments ranged from as little as 30-40 minutes, all the way up to 4-5 hours like Conrad said. 

So why do we have NTI days instead of snow days? What are the benefits of NTI? Tristan Herzog told me “Some of the benefits are probably having no homework because it’s all at home, and I get to sleep in.” Senor Karsen Milburn said, “We don’t have to make up snow days later in the year, and it doesn’t take very long to do so it’s better than having to stay in school.” Keith Conrad also said, “I like having self-guided work, and being able to do it at my own pace.” Evan Slaughter also added that he just likes having less work. “I like that there’s typically less work during NTI days because it allows me to sleep in.” NTI days do have the advantage of allowing students to work at their own pace and get extra rest. And obviously, it allows us to not have to make up any snow days later in the year which is another added bonus.

Is that it? NTI days are perfectly fine, allowing students to do work from home so they don’t have to make it up later, so why ask this question? Because NTI days have flaws too. When asked about the cons of NTI days Tristan Herzog said “It’s kind of boring having no friends around. It gets boring being inside all day.” Karsen Milborn added, “It’s hard to learn new content without actually being taught to.” NTI days don’t offer the same engagement as being in person, and it makes it difficult to learn new content when there’s no teacher actually teaching and explaining it. That’s why I ask the question again: Are NTI days actually worth having over snow days?

In my opinion, despite NTI days allowing students to be more flexible and making up for what would be snow days, I don’t think they should be used unless absolutely necessary. Students aren’t learning or doing the lessons they normally would do in school that day, so teachers may have to end up cramming some things that they normally wouldn’t have to. Plus, if you’re not doing what you would normally be doing in school that day, Why would it count as a normal school day? I think NTI days should only be used in the event of a covid outbreak, or if there are so many snow days that school would end up going into June. As of right now, however, I do not think we should have NTI weather days, but maybe at some point in the future, we will need them.