THE OHIO Valley is enduring a winter not felt for decades. Brutally cold and dangerous temperatures have blanketed the area for weeks.
Old Man Winter's nasty antics have altered our normal lifestyle. Local schools are feeling the effects more than most.
Calamity days have been multiplying as the temps continue to plummet below zero. As a result, school calendars are being altered for the balance of the academic year.
Some school districts, however, are being proactive in dealing with the time off. Blizzard bags are easing the burden of having to make up several days.
Blizzard bags refer to schoolwork that is accessed online and printed. Students complete their work at home and turn it in when school resumes. The blizzard bags count as a day in school, so students and staff will not have to make the days up.
Such practices assist school district officials with keeping as much of their original calendar intact while also keeping home-bound students mentally connected with their curriculum. Blizzard bags divert students from being non-productive couch potatoes.
Blizzard bag lessons include reviews, practice sheets for younger students, and reading and essay assignments for English classes. Students are not cheated as the lessons follow course standards.
Those students without access to a computer or Internet are allotted time for the assignments.
Blizzard days came into existence in 2011 as part of House Bill 153. Ohio law currently allows school districts five calamity days. The blizzard bag provision allows schools an extra three calamity days.
Gov. John Kasich is asking the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio General Assembly to create legislation for a one-time increase in calamity days. Should that not come to fruition, those districts utilizing blizzard bags are days ahead of the game.