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School Blizzard Bags

About a third of Ohio school districts are using take-home assignments for students to complete during days school is called off for snow or cold weather. It's a way to avoid having to make up those missed days at the end of the year.

"Students can actually log on to the computer in the school system and complete those assignments online or they can also get those assignments in hard copy and bring them home with them and do them," said Ohio Dept. of Education spokesman John Charlton.

Ohio law mandates students be in class a minimum of 178 days each school year. Districts usually build in five calamity days to avoid having to adjust schedules if school has to be canceled a lot. Many districts across the state are pushing those five days with several already over them. Charlton says about 180 of the state's 614 traditional public school districts have filed "blizzard bag" assignments with the state.

"It's something else that provides some flexibility to school districts," he said.

Technically the deadline to file with the state has passed, but Charlton says districts could still probably get a plan in place if they hurry. Not everyone is a fan of the plan.

"The district that my kids go to they do have the blizzard bag program and my kids are dreading having to do work on a day they're supposed to get off school, so they're not happy about it," Charlton joked.

Next year, schools will switch from a required minimum number of days to hours. Charlton says that would allow schools to tack on a half-hour or so to a school day to make up time missed rather than an entire day.

 

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