Snow days for Massachusetts schools to be decided by local district, West Springfield plans remote learning

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP/DESE) – The Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary education released their snow day guidelines. Giving school districts the option to go remote for snow days or not. Meaning snow days as many people remember them; no work, sledding all day, may be over.

One local college student remembers the snow days of his childhood fondly. “When I was in high school I definitely loved those days and just waiting for the school cancelation or delay,” Prem Rai told 22News.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education posted information about snow days on their website that says in part:

The Commissioner has determined that for this school year only (2020-2021), if there are days when schools must close because of inclement weather or other emergency, districts may choose whether to treat those days as “snow days” to be made up later or provide all students with remote learning on those days in a manner that is consistent with the regulatory requirements listed above.  This decision will be made at the local level.

After the guidance was released, some local school districts are now finalizing their snow day plans. Although West Springfield Public Schools are transitioning to hybrid learning soon, when it comes to snow days, every student would go back to remote learning.

“The good thing about this is that the kids are going to learn more this way. Overall this will be better for learning, better for kids and now you don’t have to add those days onto the end of the year when it’s hot out and you want to be outside,” West Springfield mayor and school committee chair, Will Reichelt told 22News.

In West Springfield, the only way students would get a no-work snow day would be if severe weather causes internet learning to be inaccessible. Mayor Reichelt said the snow day plan will likely be brought up at the next school committee meeting.

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