Georgia's Forsyth County to end snow days in 2015-16
- Georgia's Forsyth County will abolish snow days in the 2015-16 school year.
- With no inclement weather days included in the calendar starting that year, students will be expected to use the district's online learning system, itslearning, to continue lessons at home.
- Students last year missed over a week of school because of snow and ice, leading the district to implement the new plan.
Last year's extensive snow days made a mess of things, as schools struggled to get instruction time in to a limited number of make-up days since parents didn't agree with giving up part of spring break or extending the school year. With a platform like itslearning, however, teachers can assign things like discussion posts or verbal responses (i.e., for foreign language students). It can also be used on smartphones, tablets, or laptops, and in the event of power outages, students have a five-day period to complete snow day assignments in.
Still, a likely criticism would be that not every student has access to a device or the Internet at home. Where connectivity is concerned, the district has 170 Kajeet SmartSpots available for students without online access at home, and they can be connected to as many as 10 devices — though they only work during predetermined hours and have filters similar to those in the schools to keep students from accessing inappropriate content.
Forsyth isn't the first district to look at online learning as a means to melt snow days, of course: Districts in other states have also experimented with the idea. For more on similar efforts in states like Indiana and Ohio, check out our recent feature.
- Forsyth County News Officials: Forsyth school district prepared for end of snow days
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