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PA Schools Can Now Replace Snow Days with Work-From-Home Days

Only two Southeastern Pennsylvania school districts are offering cyber snow days this year.

Even when the school buses are snowed in, classes will go on in Pennsylvania.

Update Dec. 2, 2019: Only two school districts in Southeastern Pennsylvania — Conrad Weiser in Berks County and Ridley in Delaware County — will have cyber snow days in 2019-2020, according to the state. The state approved 78 school districts to offer the alternate snow days this year.

Orignal story from July, 2019: A new Pennsylvania law allows schools to create online lesson plans that students will have to work on when school is canceled because of snow (or any other reason, actually).

Schools don't have to participate, but doing so would allow them to avoid having to change graduation dates, spring holidays or the last day of school when there is a particularly snowy winter.

Wonder how school districts will react? The state has been running a pilot program at several districts and they seem enthusiastic, according to PennLive.com

“Flexible instructional days have been very popular for Central York, Red Lion and Southern York County School Districts and I’m pleased to see the governor acknowledge the merits of this helpful tool for schools to address unplanned closures,” said state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, a York County Republican, who sponsored the bill, about the schools that participated in the pilot.

Districts (and parochial schools) that are interested in ruining the thrill of hearing that your school is closed for a snow day need to submit lessons plans to the state by Sept. 1. The plan needs to include how they will deal with students or staff that don't have online access, according to the bill.(Ignore the misspelling of employee, if you can.)

And just so kids can't show up the next day and use the ol' My-Internet-Was-Out excuse, schools will have to figure out how to take attendance.

We're not sure how all of this will work, though we are sure some resourceful high schoolers will quickly learn how to show up for attendance and complete their assignments on their phones (or smart watches) and still get to spend the day sledding and having snow ball fights. In other words, it might turn out to be some of the most useful work skills they learn.

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