Commentary: Inclement weather, COVID-19 and the silver lining


We all remember the “pivot” during COVID. In 48 hours, schools had to balance and sometimes choose between student safety and education. Several inches of snow, freezing rain and cold temperatures recently brought back COVID-19 memories of online instruction and learning for our students and put many schools in a similar predicament.

King’s Way Christian High School found a silver lining amid uncertainty similar to the “pivot” during COVID. Though final examinations began last week, Kings Way adjusted from in-person instruction to distance learning during the snow and ice storms. Teachers, support staff, students and families adjusted well to the “pivot.”

Nobody wanted to live through the adjustments we had to make during COVID-19, but we have learned from past challenges, and the solutions created were implemented again at KW. Allison Hillstrom, the King’s Way High School principal, used distance learning to keep students on track with learning so we don’t lose instructional time or school hours. Distance learning was still a reactive decision rapidly communicated to our families. It involved high school faculty and staff adapting their regular lesson plans to accommodate students learning from home. Teachers had to focus on priority standards and ensure that the work assigned was meaningful and productive toward learning objectives.

Was the “pivot” without hurdles? Hillstrom mentioned that communication was tricky. We were out of distance-learning practice! It was an excellent opportunity to brush up on our online learning options and encourage our high school students to focus on our school information systems and student email communication with faculty and staff.

Unfortunately, the silver lining was impossible for some students at King’s Way and across the county. The inclement weather disrupted internet connection, and some families lost power. In addition, some students could not access their devices on campus due to poor road conditions. Teachers must decide what grace is necessary in our unique reactive inclement weather situation. KW was committed to continuing instructional learning amid a “pivot” and will seek to help students actively hold themselves accountable for their learning.

I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness, COVID helped us advance our online presence and establish a resilience to change and a willingness to carry on! At King’s Way, high school is not closed due to inclement weather, but instead, school can go remote! I’m not sure the students always appreciate the approach; hey, neither did you growing up, but I do know remote learning provides fantastic value and excellence for our students and families.


Dr. Jason Tindol is the superintendent of King’s Way Christian Schools