Snow days won't necessarily mean no school for students this year (2024)

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Snow days won't necessarily mean no school for students this year (1)

With the first bit of snow falling in the area early Monday morning, some people may be wondering what will happen with schools this year when we experience a more substantial snowfall.

All three area school divisions recently discussed their plans, which will look different from years past. With school divisions using hybrid and virtual models of instruction, while there may be a need to close school buildings, there's won't necessarily be the need to lose a day of instruction.


Staunton High School principal Nate Collins sent a letter to families Sunday night that included a link to the Staunton City Schools snow day plans. There are two scenarios.

The first is an asynchronous learning day. As long as power is widely available throughout Staunton, students will work on their asynchronous assignments through SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Canvas, or student packets on this day. Teachers will continue to release these assignments each Monday.

By doing this, the day won't be counted as a missed day.

The division will continue to provide meal services throughout the week and will adjust the meal distribution days, as needed.

If snow or ice causes a large-scale power outage, there will be no requirements for school work that day. Think of this as the traditional snow-day scenario when schools are closed.

"This day will be counted as a 'snow day'and this will not count towards instructional hours for students," the plan reads.

Either way, school buildings will be closed to both teaching staff and students with only essential personnel reporting.

Staunton won't be using a two-hour delay this year.

Should inclement weather occur, Staunton City Schools will communicate the plan byphone, text, email, Facebook, and website,and will indicate if itis an asynchronous learning day or snow day for students.


Augusta County's plan is slightly different than Staunton's.

Regular snow days will now be called an"at home learning day" for students. Teachers will have the option to work from home or in their classroom on those days.

"We can actually count it towards an instructional day for us," Superintendent Eric Bond said at last week's Augusta County School Board meeting. "It will be an at home learning day for students versus a traditional snow day."

Bond said that on hybrid days — Tuesdays through Fridays — there are roughly two-thirds of students already working from home, so this plan just made sense.

Mondays are already an at-home learning day for all students, but it's also the food pickup day for families.

"If a snow day is on that Monday, then that week we will not do food," Bond said.

There are two exceptions.

If Augusta County declares it a Code 1 snow day, 12-month employees who normally report on a snow day will have an hour delay.

There is also the possibility of what Bond called a Code 2 snow day when the weather is severe.

"If the weather is so bad that the superintendent'soffice needs to close, the administrative office needs to close, that's going to be an old-fashioned snow day," Bond said. "No one will report to work, 12-month employees won't report to work.Teachers and students will not be doing any remote learning."

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Waynesboro discussed its snow-day policy at the November School Board meeting. Superintendent Jeffrey Cassell said the current calendar still gets the school division the 990 hours of instruction required by the state, but not by much. He said the schedule for now has Waynesboro students attending just over 1,000 hours.

"We have a couple of days in there without altering our schedule," he said. "The state may grant waivers at the end of the school year, but that's not a guarantee."

Cassell is hopeful there will be no inclement weather days that force schools to stop instruction.

"We may have days in which our buildings are closed," he said. "But when that happens remember that on our hybrid schedule any given day we only have about one-third of the students in the building."

Cassell said that, on a day that it snows and it's not safe to have buses or cars on the roads, it will be a virtual learning day. It will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning, per Tim Teachey, Waynesboro's executive director of instruction.

"Teachers will be able to anticipate that with the weather forecast, I think," Cassell said. "They can be able to adjust assignments appropriately, but I don't see that we'll be canceling school. That could change. I mean, it's 2020. If anything can happen it seems like it will."

He did say that on a day where power is out for much of the city, he wouldn't feel comfortable calling that an instructional day.

"But in general we'll do virtual days as our weather days," he said.

Cassell also said he doesn't anticipate any two-hour delays.

"The schedule is tough enough now without trying to do two-hour delays," he said. "That just wouldn't work."

Patrick Hite is The News Leader's education and sports reporter. Story ideas and tips always welcome. Contact Patrick (he/him/his) atphite@newsleader.comand follow himon Twitter @Patrick_Hite. Subscribe to usat

Snow days won't necessarily mean no school for students this year (2024)
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