School districts nearing or exceeding 'snow day' allotments - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

School districts nearing or exceeding 'snow day' allotments

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

With our third potential Nor'easter in two weeks time, many schools in western Massachusetts have hit their cap for days off due to winter weather.

So how are schools handling this seemingly endless winter season and shrinking number of snow days?

In Ware, they have used four out of the five days set aside for snow and while the district's superintendent said that they don't use so-called 'Blizzard Bags', others are thankful for the ability to send students home with assignments instead of using another snow day. 

As the snow piles up, the school days dedicated to winter weather are shrinking. 

School was in session for students in Ware on Monday, but that might not be the case on Tuesday with another Nor'easter on the way.  

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While Ware students don't use 'Blizzard Bags', districts like Gateway Regional implemented the idea of bringing home assignments to tackle on snow days two years ago. 

"The process has gone well.  We've had good return from the students completing their 'Blizzard Bag' assignments," said Gateway Regional Supt. David Hopson.

This school year, the district has seven snow days - five of those were allocated for 'Blizzard Bags' and so far, they have all been used. 

Hopson said that he thinks they've picked just the right amount of days: 

"I think five is a good number. When you go much beyond five, you really lose that classroom time with the teacher.  Five is enough so we don't have to go too long in June," Hopson added.

Taking a look at other schools in western Massachusetts, many are hitting their cap.

Springfield has used five of their five days.  Agawam, Westfield, and Chicopee have used four of their five days.

Ludlow has gone over their five with six days, but their superintendent told Western Mass News that some of those days included 'Blizzard Bags.'

Hopson said that the beauty of the 'Blizzard Bags' is that students can still take time to enjoy the winter weather while keeping up with their course load:

"Well, you don't have to do it in one day, so you really can go out and enjoy the blizzard if you want and then make up that work in the next five days," Hopson noted.

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