BG, Otsego try to make up snow days PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune   
Monday, 03 February 2014 10:41
Bowling Green and Otsego school districts are taking steps to make up school lost to calamity days.
On Saturday, the Bowling Green Board of Education voted to hold classes Feb. 17, Presidents' Day, which previously had been a scheduled day off.
"That's the only thing we're doing definitely right now," said school board President Steve Cernkovich.
The board also passed a resolution to allow the use of "Blizzard Bags" as an online class makeup option.
"Our preference is to not use the Blizzard Bags because we would prefer student/teacher contact," Cernkovich added. "We're not implementing that now, but if it turns out we need to, we have the option."
The state Department of Education allows the pre-made online materials to make up for up to three days.
Bowling Green has missed 11 school days and Otsego has missed 12 as of today. Schools are allowed five calamity days. State officials may raise that limit to nine.
Otsego Superintendent Adam Koch, in his Otsego Update message to district community members on Friday, indicated the school board recently passed a resolution allowing Otsego to make up three future calamity days through the use of Blizzard Bags.
In his message, Koch said "the next three days that we cancel due to inclement weather, Blizzard Bags will be used."
Koch noted that teachers have worked together to create three days worth of lessons and activities allowing students to "extend the learning that is happening in their classroom via the Internet or paper/pencil copies."
When the Blizzard Bags are used, the materials will be posted on the district's website. For those without Internet access, paper copies will be provided once students return to school.
Students must complete the lessons for each class they have. Instant alerts about school closings will tell Otsego students and parents to go online and start completing their Blizzard Bag assignments.
The assignments are to be completed within two weeks of the missed day.
Also on Saturday, Bowling Green discussed adding 30 minutes to the school day.
At this time, spring break and Memorial Day will remain as vacation days for both districts.
"We all pretty much agreed we really don't want to mess with spring break," said Cernkovich.
In Bowling Green, prior to spring break - scheduled to start March 31 - the district will decide what to do to make up lost time, whether it be Blizzard Bags or lengthening each school day.
If Blizzard Bags are used in Bowling Green, students also will be given two weeks to complete the work.
(Sentinel staff writers Marie Thomas Baird and Peter Kuebeck contributed to this story.)

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