EvCC Classes Being Complicated by Snow Storm

Course instructors are having to reformat their classes as the number of snow days accumulate.

After one of the biggest snowstorms the area has seen in recent years, teachers and students will feel the effects for weeks to come.

Environmental Science and Biology instructor, Jeff Fennel explains what he has had to change in his curriculum because of the snow days.

John Olson, vice president for college advancement and executive director of the EvCC Foundation says that school cancelation is based on the schools’ current condition as well as what’s in the weather forecast. On the occasion that school is canceled, it can be challenging for instructors to adjust.

Ryan Masinelli, an IT instructor touched on how missing so many days is going to affect his curriculum for the rest of the quarter. “It has affected my layout, now I’m going to have to condense lectures into smaller time frames… they will have less lab time at the end of the quarter than originally planned out,” he said.

Journalism 110 instructor, Thor Tolo showed how the spare time has given him much needed time to catch up, explaining how the snow days allow for more time on grading and for more meaningful feedback on assignments. Nonetheless, the instructors bare the consequence. “The teacher now has to bear the burden; do you cut down on class discussion and just hope that the students follow the assigned reading?” Tolo asked.

However, some instructors have been attempting to adapt their classroom curriculum so students are able to keep pace. In spite of the cancellations, Environmental Science instructor Jeff Fennell has had minimal backlash from student participation.

Though Fennel hasn’t seen his biology major students since February 2, he has been able to use Zoom, an online conference app that allows him to live stream his lecture to each of his students’ computers. He says, “Students are adjusting well to the online classes.”

IT instructor, Ryan Masinelli shares how his lab time has been affected due to the number of snow days.

Math instructor Debby Casson worked hard to send students tests and videos from YouTube to explain the topics that were missed as a result of the snow days.

She said, “If we don’t cover all of the topics in 142 (pre-calculus), then when students get into 151, Calc 1, they will have gaps and I will be responsible for those gaps and I don’t want to be responsible for those gaps.”

Casson mentioned that a fellow professor, Elizabeth McCranie, had called her before school started asking her to put a note on her classroom door. She explained how McCranie was on her way to class when her car got stuck in a ditch. On top of that, she didn’t have any power at her house and had no way to tell her students that class was canceled.

As a result, students had to bare the snowy backroads to get to class just to find out that it was canceled. “I hope students are going to be understanding because yes, they had to come to campus to discover their class was canceled,” said Casson.

Every day, running start student Zanna Paulson has to commute from Camano Island to EvCC. However, with all the snow, it has added an extra 20 minutes to her commute. “I have no problem with the snow, I love driving in the snow,” said Paulson. But she is frustrated that all the hard work she has done in her classes is now being pushed back, making the class harder.

Snowmageddon may be gone, but it has left its impression on the EvCC community. Only time will tell when things will get back to normal in the classroom.

Additional reporting was provided by Bella Accetturo, Sophia Heit, and Jacob Dickson.

Videography was provided by Jane Bowman, Connor Roestel, Brent Pratley, Sarah Zimmerman, and Sona Porter.