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Will remote learning replace snow days in Western New York?

Will remote learning replace snow days in Western New York?
Posted at 5:41 AM, Sep 11, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Inside out and backwards pajamas, a spoon under your pillow, ice cubes in the toilet are essential to any Western New York student wishing for a snow day.

But could snow days suddenly evaporate?

Now that remote learning is well on its way to becoming the norm, there may no longer be a need to cancel school on days with severe weather.

"We built three snow days into our calendar, however we may not need them because we have the ability to go totally remote," said Niagara Falls City Schools Superintendent Mark Laurrie.

The New York State Department of Education sent an email to superintendents across the state, saying the department has established a one-year pilot program in which remote instruction can replace a snow day.

"As we list all the positives that come out of COVID-19, those difficult days, those icy or cold days can now be replaced with a remote day," Laurrie said. "It's still far too premature to make that a definite plan but certainly it is an option with all the remote learning we're doing it becomes a stronger possibility."

The Department of Education says depending on how the program works this school year, it could become permanent.

"Pennsylvania and other states have done similar pilots previously and they've seemed to work out pretty well," said Dr. Richard Hughes, Superintendent of Frontier Central Schools.

But for now, as summer transitions into fall, students and staff are just happy to be back in school.

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