Recent cold, snowy weather patterns have caused Preble County schools to become innovative in their methods of having students stay on track with their school work.
“Blizzard Bags,” a newly adopted form of take-home work for students in the Preble Shawnee Local School District, have been formulated to ensure students will not fall behind schedule when weather proves to be unpredictable.
David Ulrich, Superintendent of PSLSD, explained that Blizzard Bags are a packet which contains school materials which are sent home with the students to be completed while the student is home due to inclement weather. The Blizzard Bag program is “another tool that schools can use to make up calamity days,” said Ulrich.
When it comes to deciding which day will either be a Blizzard Bag day or an e-day when school is canceled, Ulrich said, “The law allows that we can give them, if Blizzard Bags are a district option, or even E-days, that we can tell them where to find the assignments or to get the assignments earlier.” Ulrich also explained that students are already prepared with school materials prior to Blizzard Bag days.
When a student is given a Blizzard Bag, that single bag represents one normal school day. This is in hopes that schools can stay on track in terms of avoiding having to add on additional school days at the end of the school year.
“I decide when a day is a Blizzard Bag day, or an e-day. If it’s Blizzard Bags, they are given the assignments before time, if the E-day is the option, again, districts can go one way or another. It can actually be both on the same day too, [the students] know to go to a particular site in order to get their assignments and work on their assignments,” said Ulrich.
Recently, Governor John Kasich asked the state legislature to grant more calamity days to schools above the already allotted five days.
Thirty-minute increments are tacked onto the school day to also avoid extra school days in the area, however, when House Bill 59 was passed over the summer, this approach was removed from its language. Ulrich hopes to have those increments put back in place.