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Lack Of Technology Means Snow Days Can’t Be Virtual

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Lack Of Technology Means Snow Days Can’t Be Virtual

Could the experience of virtual learning during the pandemic mean an end to snow days?

Putnam County Director of Schools Corby King said for right now, lack of broadband access and technology makes the answer no.

“The issue being we are still not a one-to-one district,” King said. “Meaning that we do not have a device for every student. So out of our students, we still have a large number, a significant number of students that do not have devices in the home that support virtual learning.”

Despite the shortages, King said the foundation for home instruction during an extended weather closure is there. At the beginning of this school year, districts were required to submit continuous learning plan for COVID to the state. King said this outline could be enacted to count snow days as school days, but in order to do so, each student must have seven hours of instruction.

“It is really intended for if we have to close a grade level or school level or classroom for a week or two weeks for COVID or any other type of reason,” King said. “If we had to close for any extended time, we could then enact that CLP (Continuous Learning Plan) and count those days as school days.”

King said making that transition is not too far away, especially with how accustomed teachers and students have become with virtual learning. King said only a very large snow would make it worth considering.

“Students and families would have to be informed. Teachers would have to have time to prepare and be informed,” King said. “We do attend an additional 30 minutes a day per school day, everyday to build in the 13 snow days that we currently have. (…) So they are available to use if we need them. If we became a one-to-one district, and we were going to start using something like our CLP to replace snow days. I am sure we would have to have some contractual talks again with teachers and prepare students and families.”

Along with that, teachers are paid for an additional 30 minutes per school day to build up inclement weather days. King said contract would have to be changed if snow days became seven hour instruction days.


The post Lack Of Technology Means Snow Days Can’t Be Virtual appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.