Snow day counts as school day: Ludlow 'Blizzard Bags'

(Western Mass News photo)

Thanks to the snow, most schools in western Mass. shut down today. But for at least one school district, today is technically not a snow day.

Take a look at this pilot program happening in Ludlow.

By now you've probably heard of the term 'Blizzard Bags.' It's a trend that's catching on. Ludlow is the latest local community to jump on board.

[READ MORE: Blizzard bags keep students learning on snow days]

The idea: Send work home with students before an impending snow day, so that the day counts as an actual school day. We caught up with one Ludlow teacher at home today... But technically, still at work.

Like all schools in Ludlow, Chapin Elementary is closed today. The superintendent calling it an official 'Blizzard Bag Day.' All students are responsible for completing snow day assignments.

And, as part of the official Blizzard Bag plan, teachers like Nancy Raymond, a 2nd grade teacher at Chapin, are responsible, among other things, for checking email at least 3 times a day.

"So teachers should be checking our emails sometime in the morning, in the middle of the day and at the end of the regular school day hours," Nancy explains.

So while she makes the most of the snow day at home with her own kids, 5-year-old Luke and 2-year-old Gus...Nancy is also online throughout the day, just in case parents or students have any questions. She tells Western Mass News, homework is grade appropriate.

"The assignments that are sent home are not like your typical homework assignment but rather a longer assignment or project that can be completed during the day at home," Nancy says.

Every student also has 5 days to get it done.

"So the kids could come in tomorrow and if they didn't understand something I would be happy to work with them," she adds.

Ludlow just implemented the Blizzard Bag program in January. This is the third issued so far, along with four traditional snow days. The last day of school is now June 20th. It would have been the 25th without the Blizzard Bag days.

"As a classroom teacher, those end of June days are pretty brutal in the classroom. The classrooms gets to be 90 degrees plus and its tough to get any work out of students when its that hot," notes Nancy.

But she says so far, doing homework on Blizzard Bag Snow Days, seems to be working.

A Blizzard Bag committee will take a look at the pilot program this summer, make any necessary tweeks, and decide whether to continue the program next school year.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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