Triton Voice

Blizzard Bags at Triton

Our Superintendent of Schools and the Head of the Teachers Association weigh in about the subject.

Snow pile-up after a large snow storm.

Glory Trelfa

Snow pile-up after a large snow storm.

Glory Trelfa, Staff Writer

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Students and teachers alike were hit hard with the consequence of last winter’s blizzard at the end of the school year. The past summer vacation is said to be one of the shortest on record for our district because of it. Some school districts believe that they have found the way to a longer summer and shorter school year: blizzard bags. However, 2 members of our school and community are not convinced that these bags would be beneficial for our district.

Blizzard bags are bags, folders, or online work relating to school work from each class that students can bring home and complete on a snow day. According to Sue Densmore, if approximately 75% of students complete the work for the said snow day, the school will count the snow day as if it had been a regular school day. One school using this technique is Timberlane High School located in Plaistow, New Hampshire. The students of the school have started using blizzard bags and one student stated that it has been fairly successful with their school.

Freshman Cailin McNeil of Timberlane High School recommends them to all schools considering the use of these bags because they have been very helpful in regards to keeping up with school work on days off. She also said that they are convenient when it comes to the end of the year because there are far fewer days to make up.

“Most people find it a pain to have to do school work on a snow day, but personally, I think it’s great because we end up having a longer summer,” stated McNeil.

However, while they have not talked extensively about blizzard bags yet, our school committee concluded that there are too many factors to consider involving our elementary schools, middle school, and high school. They believe that there is a very slim chance of us trying out bliard bags anytime in the near future.

Teachers and parents may dislike the use of blizzard bags. Teachers may not get the day’s pay for the “school day” while parents of younger students may find it inconvenient or impossible if they have to help their kids learn subjects such as social studies and speech therapy which their teachers should be teaching them in school. The use of these bags may be inconvenient for older students if the power goes out. Since this is one of the main causes of schools closing for a day or two, it may be hard for older students to access their online assignments. The Department of Education needs to be certain that all students can easily complete the assignments before our school district can test the use of blizzard bags.

“I’m not against [blizzard bags] but there are factors that would need to be worked out,” stated Sue Densmore, the head of the Triton Regional Teachers Association, “We would need to meet the expectations of all parties so that we don’t run the risk of disenfranchising the school.”

The superintendent of the school district, Brian Forget, agreed with Densmore. He would have to take all five schools in the district into consideration along with their needs and expectations for the school year. He also stated that parents, teachers, and the state department of education may not be in agreement with the idea since a day’s worth of work and an actual school day are not exactly equivalent. In order for us to attempt using the blizzard bags, the school committee would need to vote and say that doing certain school work at home is equivalent to the work we would be doing in school.

“If we could find a way for [the blizzard bags] to work for students, teachers, and families, it would definitely be something to consider,” said Forget. “I think there’s still a lot of holes.”

As the superintendent of the entire district, he would be responsible for giving the official seal of approval but with so many factors to work out, there is little chance of blizzard bags being introduced to our school district for the next few years.

About the Contributor
Glory Trelfa, Staff Writer

Hi, my name is Glory Trelfa. This year I am a Junior in high school. I am from Salisbury, Massachusetts and I live on Salisbury Beach. So far this year,...

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