|St. John's saved by 'Blizzard Bag'|
|Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:13 PM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
DELPHOS — St. John’s students, parents and teachers will not have to make up all the days lost to school cancellations this winter at the end of the calendar year. With Ohio Revised Code section 3313.88, the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Toledo has authorized the “Blizzard Bag” plan to allow students to access and complete classroom lessons in order to complete up to three days of instruction in excess of the number of calamity days permitted.
St. John’s Elementary Principal Nathan Stant said the administration has been in contact with other schools in the area including St. Mary’s in Van Wert, St. Anthony’s in Columbus Grove and Fort Recovery, and have received positive responses regarding the “Blizzard Bag” curriculum.
“Staff and parents are glad that we are working with the curriculum instead of tacking additional days on at the end of the school year,” Stant said.
St. John’s Elementary and High School have decided to institute this “Blizzard Bag” curriculum, which extends the activities and work being completed in the classrooms. Teachers have developed plans so students do not miss the day of work but instead will work on the assigned projects at home (outside school time) and turn in the work within two weeks of the cancellation day. This will ensure the school year will conclude as close as possible to the last day on the current school calendar.
“We will have an opportunity to use up to three days, which would have otherwise been lost due to inclement weather conditions,” Stant said. “Since we have exhausted our five calamity days, we’ll need to make up two days. We now have the three ‘Blizzard Bag’ days where students have up to two weeks to make up core subject assignments, including religion, math, English and Language Arts.”
The alert system and television will inform students and parents that any further cancelled day of instruction, up to three days, is indeed a “Blizzard Bag” day. When the students return to school, they will be given an assessment to make up for the cancelled day. Students are expected to finish these assignments as soon as possible. If the assignments are not returned within the two weeks, it will result in the student being counted absent unexcused and will receive a zero on the assignment.
“We are glad to have the flexibility with the calendar and the kids are still learning,” Stant said. “It’s different for the teachers. They are willing to put in the extra work which shows their dedication.”