JOPLIN, Mo. — “Alternative Methods of Instruction”, or “A.M.I.”. Missouri implemented the program in the midst of the pandemic, and it continues.

“A.M.I. stands for alternate method of instruction. And that is through a state statute through the state of Missouri districts apply to be able to access those hours for instruction in the event of inclement weather,” said Heather Surbrugg, Eastmorland Elementary Principal.

It’s an option for school districts when they can’t have class on campus, think “snow days” or when there’s too much ice.

“Through those AMI days, students are provided either virtual instruction or paper packets that the schools really have to be proactive about prior to providing those opportunities for the students to do their learning at home. And our Certified staff is on call really from home via email,” said Surbrugg.

A.M.I. days count the same as a normal school day when it comes to attendance and state funding. Districts must get state approval for their A.M.I. program, showing how they’ll notify parents, create classwork and make sure students are taking part.

“This is really a unique opportunity for us to be able to use in the state of Missouri and districts really get very creative with them. But it’s a lot of planning and being ready for those days of inclement weather. You’ve got to plan and be ready for that because accountability there is very important. We want to make sure we’re not losing any learning time,” said Surbrugg.

Each district has its own criteria for deciding when to use an A.M.I. day versus a snow day.

The state allows up to five per school year.