Remote learning lets students learn virtually during would-be snow days

TAZEWELL, VA (WOAY) – When the weather gets tough during the winter, the typical response is for schools to close and give kids a day off to keep them at home. But that’s changed in recent years thanks to COVID-19.

As students switched to remote learning, schools developed an infrastructure that lets them go remote whenever it’s convenient. 

Tazewell County is one local school district practicing this.

According to Superintendent Dr. Christopher Stacy, the school system does this to not interrupt the learning process.

“We just came back from our Christmas break, so you start retraining everyone, students and employees alike,” Dr. Stacy said. “When you start having repeated snow days, it takes a while to get the routine built back up.”

But that doesn’t mean every snow day will be a remote learning day.

The Commonwealth of Virginia allows ten days for the school district to use as remote days each year, and those days can only be used if the school provides necessary services they normally provide for an in-person day, such as meals for students. 

Tazewell County preps for the snow days by sending meals in advance to households and accommodates for students’ needs. 

“All of our students have a Chromebook, and we have dispatched Wi-Fi services for those who may not have internet.”

This past Friday Tazewell County sent out two breakfast meals and two lunch meals for every student in preparation of the snow storm, so they could potentially have two remote learning days this week. 

However, Dr. Stacy says he believes there’s a very real chance for students to have traditional snow days later this year, and the best case scenario is to have a mix between snow days and remote days. 

“We understand sometimes kids need a break. I do think there will be some usage of snow days this winter. But if we can swap in a few remote days to keep us going, that would be good also.”

This Monday was a remote day for the students in Tazewell County, as they received snowfall and icy conditions just like everywhere else around our area.

The difference is with every remote day they have, that’s one less day the students need to make up for later in the year. 

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