CAMDEN, Maine (WABI) - Last year, Camden-Rockport Middle School had nine snow days.
"Sometimes I'd see a student twice in a week or so."
But administrators were ready for the storm that shut down schools across the state this week, implementing the first test of a remote school day, where students and staff stay home.
"Took a video of myself explaining the assignment. Explaining some pitfalls they might encounter in doing the assignment."
Math teacher Jacob Eichenlaub says with a big assessment coming up, it was important for his students to maintain momentum.
"The stuff that they worked on at home is a modified version of what I would have done in class anyways. And that was really the idea behind it. That we don't have to stop and give them some kind of band aid education. They could keep going with real work that they're really engaged in."
The remote school day was implemented across the school district. Students and teachers used school-issued devices to communicate.
"We recognize K through 6 we don't necessarily supply a one to one device at home for every child, so that's not expected. Instead, that work was sent home, but if you need to contact your teacher, you're able to do that."
Attendance is counted if the student completes their assignments.
"I think it's a great model. I think it's much better than adding an hour or coming in on Saturdays or going into the summer."
The district hopes to use the feedback and lessons from the day to improve the idea.
"It was never designed to be a complete replacement for all snow days. I think that's a misconception some people have."
If a storm knocks out power for example, a regular snow day would be called for. Weather permitting, the school plans to attempt another remote school day this year.
"For students to have some experiences where they have to build independence, problem solve and struggle to work on their own, ask through a digital platform for support, that is where we're headed. So having some element of that occasionally through remote snow days I think is a great thing for us to explore."