Food for Thought Friday: PA Dept of Ed Announces Snow Day Pilot Program

Snowing! by thisreidwrites, on FlickrCreative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by thisreidwrites

by Kristie Burk

Just a few days ago, Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq announced a new pilot program that will give Pennsylvania Schools the ability to use “non-traditional educational delivery methods” on regularly scheduled school days instead of snow days.

As you know, the Public School Code requires schools to offer 990 hours of instruction for grades 7-12 and 900 hours to grades 1-6.  The new “Flexible Instructional Day” will count as a school day as long as the school has submitted to the Department of Education a summary of the program that “demonstrates the school has addressed the overall management of the program, curriculum and instruction, and student and teacher access to technology and supports.”

Schools can choose to develop online or offline work; however, there must be alternatives for online programs if students and teachers don’t have access to technology.

In the new pilot, schools can use up to five (!) Flexible Instructional Days before requiring approval from the DOE. More information about the pilot program can be found here.

If you’re an educator in Pennsylvania, what do you think of this pilot program? Do you think that we should allow kids to work at home during bad weather or should we make up the day? Let us know by posting a comment below or tweeting it about using #foodforthoughtfri.

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