EATON —During a board of education meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Eaton Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Curry addressed the BOE about the switching from “calamity days” to “calamity hours” for weather-related cancellations and delays.
The district also added e-days for the first five snow days for students to work on from home if school is cancelled for weather. Last week, Eaton students participated in their first e-day when school was canceled due to inclement weather.
Dr. Curry further explained the reason for the switch to e-days and calamity hours.
According to Curry, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 59 which changed the minimum school year for Ohio school districts from days to hours.
“Instead of allowing a certain number of days off per year for snow or other calamity, school districts now have more flexibility to cancel classes,” Curry explained.
Curry also stated house bill 59 “affirmed” school districts ability to offer online lessons to make up for time missed in the classroom during snow days.
“The district and the union agreed to implement ‘e-days’ as a form of online instruction during calamity days,” Curry said, adding, “E-days ensure that students receive instruction on days called off.”
During the November board of education meeting, Curry explained students will receive attendance credit for the first three days and will have two weeks after the calamity day to complete the E-Lessons given by teachers.
Curry also explained what happens after the five E-Lessons are used. “During the first five calamity days, students are completing e-day lessons,” Curry said. “The plan is for students to make up any additional calamity days, beginning on calamity day six. The make-up days, if needed, may occur during professional development days, conference make-up day, extended days or added to the end of the school year.”
Curry said Eaton is one of several districts to utilize some form of E-Lessons, either through online instruction or in the form of “blizzard bags.”
The idea is fairly new to school districts and Curry said lessons are flexible. “There is no particular platform for e-days or calamity days. Rather, school districts have the flexibility to develop plans that meet its students’ needs.”
Curry also said the district will keep attempting to improve the plan. “I expect that we will continue to refine our plan as new technology and new ideas develop,” she said.
Curry said she has not received comments from parents regarding the e-day last week, but said teachers and administrators developed the plan together.
“Any comments received from teachers and parents regarding this process will be considered when we discuss future improvements to the system,” Curry said after the district used its first e-day.
Curry also believes the system is here to stay.
“Our plan is always to increase opportunities for student learning,” she said. “We expect the current calamity day procedures and e-day lessons to continue.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.