By George W. Davis
Special to the Beacon Journal
GREEN: With the school district already two days over its five allowed calamity days, the Green Board of Education on Monday adopted an alternative plan to help limit the number of days students will have to be make up as winter weather continues to slam the area.
By unanimous vote, the board approved submitting its plan to the Ohio Department of Education immediately that would allow students to make up the time through several methods, including the use of “Blizzard Bags.”
A state report indicated that only about 20 percent of Ohio school districts opted to institute such a plan last August.
Green Superintendent Jeffrey L. Miller II said Monday that districts weren’t thinking about calamity days because of the milder winters experienced over the past few years. This year, however, snow, ice and dangerous wind chills have led many superintendents to cancel school well beyond the five allotted days. Over the past few weeks, several Akron-area districts have asked the state about implementing the Blizzard Bags program, in which students complete assignments by using the Internet and other tools to make up for missed classroom time.
Miller said that when the state reopened the program, Green wanted to take advantage of its benefits.
The board noted that the state Legislature also is considering adding four calamity days this school year because of the hard winter. A vote is expected this month.
If approved, Green then would have two more calamity days without make-up, provided the Legislature makes the law retroactive, Miller said.
With Blizzard Bags, students also will have the option of making up work within two weeks after schools reopen by using school computers before, during or after school.
“If the student doesn’t complete the lesson within the time period, the student will receive an incomplete or failing grade unless a reason sufficient to the teacher is provided,” a copy of the plan indicated.
Miller said the plan includes written consent of the teachers’ employee representatives.
Each teacher in Green is asked to develop a sufficient number of lessons to equal or exceed the amount of instructional time the student would receive for three school days in that class.
In other action, the Green board authorized placement of a five-year, $4.1 million emergency renewal levy on the May 6 ballot. The renewal last was approved in 2009, and won’t raise the cost to property owners President Bob Campbell said Tuesday.
Treasurer Eydie Snowberger said the issue costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $184 per year.
George Davis can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.