|DEA not in support of ‘Blizzard Bags’|
|Monday, February 10, 2014 9:00 PM|
By NANCY SPENCER
DELPHOS —With “Blizzard Bags” all the buzz in schools this winter, Delphos Education Association President Christine Siebeneck read a formal statement from the group, who, at this time, is not supporting the program.
The effort is a way for schools to “make up” up to three calamity days by teachers preparing student assignments equivalent to 6 1/2 hours of instruction for each day missed.
“As educators, we feel ‘Blizzard Bags’ are not the right course of action for Delphos City Schools,” Siebeneck said. “We have a diverse district and the program is not a quality substitute for interaction and instruction from a teacher in the classroom.”
The statement from the DEA read by Siebeneck is at the end of this story.
School districts throughout the state should know by the end of the month about additional calamity days. The Ohio Senate will vote on the measure today.
“If the Senate passes it, the governor will sign it by end of the month,” Superintendent Kevin Wolfe said.
Wolfe also gave a special thank-you to maintenance/custodians, city/county road crews and bus drivers for getting the district’s parking lots, sidewalks and roads clear and getting the students to school safely.
In other action, the board:
• Approved Damon Ulm as head boys track coach;
• Hired Todd Teman and Brent Binkley as co-assistant track coaches. They will share the salary;
• Hired Damon Joseph and Ben Babcock as co-JV baseball coaches. They will share the salary;
• Accepted the resignation of Terri Suever as varsity football and basketball cheer coach; and
• Approved Matt Gerdeman as volunteer baseball coach.
Here is Siebeneck’s statement as read:
“At this time, The Delphos Education Association has decided not to pursue ‘Blizzard Bags.’ While there are definite advantages to schools wishing to implement this program, we feel that a ‘Blizzard Bag’ policy is not the right course of action for the students, teachers, and staff of Delphos City Schools.
“We are potentially concerned about the implications of ‘Blizzard Bags’ on student learning. The Delphos Education Association believes that there is no quality substitute for authentic interactions between students and teachers. We don’t want to send a message to our students and our community that potentially undermines the importance of teachers and de-values the necessity of student attendance. In addition, we understand that educational needs vary from student to student; one-size-fits-all ‘Blizzard Bag’ assignments may prevent all students from being successful. We also value the families in our community and recognize that not every household may have access to the technology, resources or family members able to help with assignments.
“However, the Delphos Education Association also realizes that state tests are approaching and we need to continue working with students despite this difficult winter. As of today, many of our teachers have already provided our students with reinforcement and enrichment activities designed to assist students with Ohio testing. These tailored learning opportunities will help our students cultivate independent skills at an appropriate, educational pace.”