FLINT, MICH. - In light of the coronavirus, many school districts have chosen to start the year primarily online to keep students and staff safe.
But as the year inches closer to those winter months, some are wondering will the snow days affect virtual classes?
Frank Burger, President of the Genesee and Lapeer County Michigan Education Association chapter, who is also a teacher in the Carman-Ainsworth School District, says there’s a lot of uncertainty on what counts as a snow day during a pandemic.
Burger says he’s hoping to get answers soon.
If you’re familiar with Michigan winters, you know the bone chilling temps is nothing out of the ordinary.
In January of last year, that frigid weather was too brutal for students to be in school.
“They had to figure out a fix for that,” said Burger.
Burger says it’s up to state lawmakers to determine how many snow days school districts get.
Typically, they’re given 6 days. After that, districts could apply for an extra 3 days on a waiver.
“What happens after you hit your snow day limit is you’ve gotta start making those days up in the school year,” said Burger.
Because many districts are opting for virtual learning right now, how will snow days works?
“That’s a good question. We haven’t gotten any clear direction yet from the state of Michigan,” Burger stated.
Meaning, for example, if the power goes out causing a glitch in the internet, or the weather is too dangerous for staff to come in, Burger says it would be up to the state legislature as well as talks on the local level to figure out if that could be considered a snow day.
“I call it a crap shoot right now. You don’t know what’s going to happen with snow days and the way it’s going to go down,” Burger said.
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We did reach out to local districts and state lawmakers to get their perspective.
They either did not get back to us, were unavailable, or felt it was too early to talk about snow days.
We also reached out to the Governor’s office and are still awaiting a response.