DESE released updated guidelines advising careful planning for districts considering using home assignments in place of snow days.

The January 5, 2018 memo from Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson on “alternative structured learning day programs” states

School committees and charter school boards of trustees must allow sufficient planning time for administrators, teachers, staff, and other members of the school community, as appropriate, to thoughtfully and transparently design the alternative structured learning day program prior to implementation.

In other words, using “blizzard bags” in place of making up a school day must carefully consider the availability of educators, parents and students while meeting the same student learning time requirements as a regular school day.

Read the full memo here.

See our post from 2016 with a prior DESE memo and research from the Harvard Kennedy School on the effectiveness of “blizzard bag” policies.

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