Back to School: Should online classes replace snow days?

A South Carolina school district is testing out a new way to avoid missed class time -- by replacing winter snow days with online lessons.

Anderson School District 5 will be the first in the state to test out the eLearning pilot program, WSOC reported.

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Through the program, students can access homework assignments at home, using Google Classroom, through Chromebook laptops.

Students in grades 3 through 12 will be required to take the Chromebooks home to do the assignments.

The Chromebook lessons can be downloaded ahead of time, so Wi-Fi isn't needed, the district said.

This new technology will start in the upcoming 2018-19 school year.

The district has created a firm school calendar, which does not include any room for classroom makeup days due to weather.

"At the end of the day, it makes common sense and financial sense to implement this program," Superintendent Tom Wilson said in a news release, WSOC reported. "No longer will we need to run buses mid-June for a makeup day that only a quarter of our students attend."

District officials also said this program helps parents with vacation planning and child care.

"From an educator's standpoint, it's easy to plan for the expected. It's the unexpected things, like snow days, that disrupt schedules and teaching plans," said Robert Anderson Middle School Principal Leonard Galloway. "This will enable teachers to stay on schedule."

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