End of Snow Days? Remote Learning Becomes New Normal for Some Districts in Mass.

Several school districts in the region are opting for remote days over snow days after the state's education commissioner gave them the option

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Some school districts in Massachusetts are ditching traditional snow days this year, opting instead for online classes whenever possible.

The interim superintendent of Brookline Public Schools, Dr. James Marini, said students will be expected to switch to remote learning on what would normally be a snow day in a message to parents.

Other school districts across the region plan to have remote learning during inclement weather, including Cambridge, Lawrence, Lynn, Medford, Milton, Newton and Quincy. Proponents of the measure argue it will help to avoid further learning loss and the need to make up for lost days at the end of the school year.

The move comes as New England braces for a storm forecast to bring over a foot of snow for most Wednesday night into Thursday. More districts could follow suit now that the state's education commissioner is allowing schools to pivot to remote instruction on what has historically been a snow day.

Marini said that he will call for an early dismissal on remote snow days in Brookline to allow families to "enjoy some of the fun and excitement of a traditional New England snow day."

While unlikely, Marini noted that he may declare a traditional snow day should the storm be strong enough to knock out power throughout the region. Any school days without remote instruction would need to be made up at the end of the year.

Marini said that when winter storms are forecast with a "high degree of certainty," he will make the call the night before. If the forecast is less certain, the decision will be made no later than 5 a.m. on the day of the storm, Marini said.

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