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People Are Concerned About A School District Replacing Snow Days With Online Courses For Students

Online, people are saying that snow days should be days off for students, and spent “sledding and building snowmen.”

Posted on August 3, 2018, at 2:14 p.m. ET

A school district in South Carolina announced last week that it is planning to replace all inclement weather–related school closures with online courses for students to take at home. It’ll be the first district in the state to implement this new policy.

The Anderson School District 5, which primarily consists of elementary schools in the Anderson, South Carolina, area, is adapting an e-learning program that hopes to completely eliminate snow days and other inclement weather makeup days. Instead, students will be required to complete assignments on their Chromebooks on days the physical school will be closed. The idea is to avoid adding additional school days to the calendar due to inclement weather days, Kyle Newton, the assistant superintendent of the district, told BuzzFeed News.“E-learning allows us to meet the mandated state requirements for attendance and avoid days tacked on to the end of the school year that are ineffective,” Newton said.
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The Anderson School District 5, which primarily consists of elementary schools in the Anderson, South Carolina, area, is adapting an e-learning program that hopes to completely eliminate snow days and other inclement weather makeup days.

Instead, students will be required to complete assignments on their Chromebooks on days the physical school will be closed.

The idea is to avoid adding additional school days to the calendar due to inclement weather days, Kyle Newton, the assistant superintendent of the district, told BuzzFeed News.

“E-learning allows us to meet the mandated state requirements for attendance and avoid days tacked on to the end of the school year that are ineffective,” Newton said.

On days like snow days, instead of tobogganing or watching Maury reruns, students will be required to complete mandated school work. They’ll have an additional five days to complete it once they return to school, Newton said.

“While the students will be able to do their work offline on their Chromebooks during the inclement weather day, if they do have internet access they can communicate with their teacher during predetermined times that the teacher establishes online office hours,” said the assistant superintendent.Newton explained students are already completing assignments via their Chromebooks on normal school days, so there will not be a huge learning curve.“Main thing to keep in mind is that no matter what happens, the worst case scenario is that the student has five days to make up any work which is in line with our current attendance policy,” he added.
Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

“While the students will be able to do their work offline on their Chromebooks during the inclement weather day, if they do have internet access they can communicate with their teacher during predetermined times that the teacher establishes online office hours,” said the assistant superintendent.

Newton explained students are already completing assignments via their Chromebooks on normal school days, so there will not be a huge learning curve.

“Main thing to keep in mind is that no matter what happens, the worst case scenario is that the student has five days to make up any work which is in line with our current attendance policy,” he added.

Newton told BuzzFeed News that the new policy has been “received pretty well” among students, parents, and faculty. Online, however, people believe snow days should be days off for students, and spent “sledding and building snowmen.”

@FOX59 Snow days shouldn’t consist of school work, let them enjoy sledding and building snowmen like we did back in the day.

Some are (jokingly) calling it “evil.”

And calling advancements in technology a peril.

the internet was a mistake https://t.co/Mn75f00yPy

To anyone’s concerns, Newton wanted to point out that his district’s schools “typically don’t actually get any snow days,” he said. “For example, last year we had four days missed due to inclement weather — none for snow.”

We got out of school at the right time ladies and gentlemen. https://t.co/tqnzR5DOvP

He said they had not heard any concerns from parents yet about managing the extra coursework for these inclement weather days.

“We are excited to pilot this program for South Carolina, and as a 1:1 technology district we think we are in a good process to carry this out successfully,” he said.

The new e-learning policy will start in the 2018–19 school year.

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