Ohio Schools Using 'Blizzard Bags' to Make Up Snow Days

By: Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Olivia Fecteau Email

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- With so many days of school missed already this year, some districts in Ohio are taking a new approach to making up work by having students complete online lessons.

They’re called “blizzard bags,” a way for students to review lessons at home and make up three instructional days through the Ohio Department of Education. While most agree there’s no substitute for being in the classroom with a teacher, some districts say this means missing less time so students don’t fall behind.

“We're not losing as much time if we can provide students work while they're out on those days,” Eric Floyd, the assistant superintendent for Rock Hill Local Schools, said.

Teachers at Rock Hill Local Schools are using blizzard bags to account for some of the days missed this year.

“Anything's better than nothing,” Jerry Kidd, who teaches sixth-grade math at Rock Hill, said. “A kid sitting at home all day playing video games – at least there's some refreshing of what's going on in the classroom.”

Tony Mantell, the superintendent at Clay Local Schools, said his district was not using blizzard bags.

“I certainly understand why some districts would choose to do that, but for us, I don't think it's really the right fit,” Mantell said. “It's beyond the classroom, beyond the instruction, just the nurturing part of it.”

The superintendent of Ironton City Schools told WSAZ.com he had decided not to have blizzard bags in his district, in large part because so many students are on free or reduced price lunches and he would rather have them in the building.

In Ohio, five missed days are forgiven by the state, and another five are built into contingency plans.

For students without Internet access at home, teachers will give them a printed copy of the lesson when they return to school, which they will have two weeks to complete.

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