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Snow days may be less likely as students learn remotely during pandemic

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 7:04 PM EST
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With the majority of schools in Kentucky and Indiana learning remotely, districts not calling a...
With the majority of schools in Kentucky and Indiana learning remotely, districts not calling a snow day is a situation may play out across the area throughout this winter.(Source: WAVE 3 News)
With school buses parked because students are on remote learning, snowy roads leading to...
With school buses parked because students are on remote learning, snowy roads leading to cancelation of classes is something that is not likely to happen this winter.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The first snow of the season has laid a light blanket across much of WAVE Country. But for many learning remotely, the prospects of a snow day are slim this year.

“My kids, they were so funny,” Renee Murphy, JCPS Chief Communications and Community Officer, said. “They were like it’s a snow day. There’s snow. Then, they said, ‘Wait a minute? Do we still have school?’ I was like, yes, we are all learning virtually.”

With the majority of schools in Kentucky and Indiana learning remotely, that situation may play out across the area throughout this winter.

“There’s not going to be a snow day for this school year,” John Wright, Hardin County Schools Community Relations Specialist, said. “Unless, there is something catastrophic like ice that stays on the power lines and knocks out power or something like that.”

Some support services at districts, like meal services, may be impacted by the weather, but for many instruction will continue.

Jefferson County Public Schools

JCPS is currently learning remotely. Snowfall will not impact NTI requirements. District leaders have not made an official decision on whether remote learning will be used in place of snow days once in-person learning resumes. A school spokesperson said that the success of the current NTI program and addition of remote learning infrastructure and laptop distribution makes that option appealing.

“We’ve seen what is possible,” Murphy said. “We’ve seen what we can do. It really is a great indication for us of what we can do in the future.”

Hardin County Schools

Snow days will not impact online instruction. The district will announce whether school lunch or childcare programs are affected by the weather. Once in-person classes resume, snow days will be replaced with NTI learning days. HCS officials said they see the replacement of snow days with online learning as a possible permanent procedure.

“The future of the snow day is certainly in jeopardy, I would think, because this NTI deal is working,” Wright said. “For the short term, we would strongly consider continuing on this road of NTI when things return to normal, and hopefully that’s very, very soon.”

Bullitt County Public Schools

“For periods when we are utilizing remote learning district-wide, as we are now with COVID-19, we will still perform road checks to determine whether food delivery will (a) proceed as normal, (b) be delayed, or (c) be canceled if conditions are not likely to improve,” Jesse Bacon, Superintendent, wrote. “For any of those three scenarios, remote learning will continue for that day as planned.”

If students are back to in-person learning, in either a hybrid or fulltime capacity, Bacon said the following will occur.

“We will perform road checks as we have always done in the past to make a decision to (a) proceed as normal, (b) delay the start, or (c) declare a Remote Learning (NTI) day.”

Oldham County Schools

NTI will continue regardless of snow or ice unless a weather event makes that impossible. Once students return to in-person learning, traditional snow days will be used unless a weather event prolongs closures. In that case, the district may revert to NTI learning. In a letter sent to parents,

Superintendent Greg Schultz wrote he wanted to avoid making the school year any longer.

“I still firmly believe the best instruction is face-to-face, therefore, make-up days will be used for the first few individual snow days,” Schultz wrote. “That said, if we go into a snow event that keeps us out of school for several days in a row, or if we go past the five make-up days on the calendar, we will utilize NTI days.”

Greater Clark County Schools

GCCS officials said the semester of virtual instruction ends this week. So, it is unlikely that aspect of learning will be impacted by snow or ice. They said students are set to return in person in January. The district will do eLearning on snow days.

New Albany-Floyd County Schools

The district has laid out guidance for virtual snow days.

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