In Fairfax, ‘cold day’ didn’t mean day off for all high school students

Cold temperatures and resulting school closings didn’t stop Fairfax teacher Ken Halla from holding class Tuesday.

For students enrolled in one section of his Advanced Placement Government class, Halla had posted a video online for the teenagers to watch, take notes on and prepare for a quiz later in the week on landmark Supreme Court cases.

“The class is faster-paced than most,” said Halla, 50, a history teacher at Hayfield Secondary. “Days off are not a good idea for us, like snow days.”

On the “cold day,” as Halla called it, the students were highly encouraged to watch a lecture he posted to YouTube about the Supreme Court confirmation process that details the failed hearings for Reagan nominee Robert Bork. He also posted a list of landmark cases, including Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education and Plessy v. Ferguson, which his students had to analyze and write a short explanation of the precedent for each case.

Halla said that offering students the opportunity to take part in a class online on a day off helps his students stay on top of the work needed to complete the high-level course.

See Halla’s blog here to read about his class.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.
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