Turning Snow Days into Online School

Blizzard Bags replace snow days in some districts

A New England blizzard batters the region


A New England blizzard batters the region

By Maggie Bowen, Triton High School

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Turning Snow Days into Online School

Blizzard Bags replace Snow Days in some districts

The abundant amount of snow in the winter has caused Timberlane Regional High school in New Hampshire to turn snow days into online school. At this school, teachers give students assignments that fill up their days when school is cancelled because of bad weather. A few schools across the state of Massachusetts have already discussed this issue and decided to replace snow days with online assignments.

This program for snow days is called the E-learning program, also known by the name of Blizzard Bags. Students are required to do the online work at home that teachers assign when school is cancelled for that day. “I would be upset (about online school) because I just want to chill on my off days.”’ said Triton junior, Tylar Yescalis.

Not every snow day students are required to do school work, there are some traditional snow days. The NH department of education gave Timberlane High School a Blizzard Bag Day plan for a maximum of five days. Timberlane Regional High School has used the Blizzard Bag program for three years now.

To determine if a snow day is going to be a Blizzard Bag day or not, the SAU (school administrative unit) decides. Students know it’s going to be an online working day when the school sends an email or text to the parents. All class assignments are on Google Classroom where students turn in their work for that particular day.

If a student does not have access to a computer at home, paper copies will be distributed to students before hand. A frequently asked question by parents and students is whether or not students will have to work on the Blizzard Bags for the same amount of hours they are in school. Students have the whole snow day to complete the assignments listed online, and they can finish according to their schedule as long as it is in a timely manner.

“I’d be okay with it, I think it’s a good idea.” Triton junior, Andrew Valianti said.

Teachers at Timberlane are available online for questions, comments, and concerns from 10am-2pm. If the work online isn’t complete, students will be marked absent for that day. 80 percent of students and 80 percent of teachers will have to complete the Blizzard Bag for that day in order for the snow day to count as a school day.

Comments on social media about Blizzard Bags are scattered, ranging from people who think it’s a great idea, to others who think students should be able to enjoy the snow day without any required academic work.

“Let them enjoy sledding and building snowmen like we did back in the day” One person tweeted.

“I think it’s a good idea because summer isn’t cut short, I’d be okay with doing some online work at home.” Triton junior, Kiefer Callewaert explained.

Make up snow days cost schools more money and time. Cancellations can cost schools money by having to pay for storm clean up, snow removal,and staff overtime. “Costly and unproductive makeup days can be eliminated,” according to the Washington Post by the editorial board, article Don’t rain on the idea of online classes for snow days

If the E-learning program or Blizzard Bags aren’t an option, other standards will have to take place. “Some schools are eliminating holiday breaks and professional development plans, adding minutes and days to the school clock or even cutting recess and opening school on Saturdays.” according to the CNN article by Jamie Gumbrecht, Students, say goodbye to snow days and say hello to school at home. If virtual learning isn’t an option these are the standards that will take place.

“I don’t like the idea of going on a Saturday. If they added minutes to make up for it, just minutes not hours I would be okay with it,” Triton junior Tylar Yescalis said.

Triton Regional High school has experienced many snow days being stationed in New England.

This story was originally published on Triton Voice on January 10, 2019.