Snow days become a thing of the past for Greenville Co. students

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Virtual learning has become the norm amid the coronavirus pandemic, now some school districts are taking it a step forward for the coming years. Snow days will now look a bit different for Greenville County families.

Two words students across the upstate look forward to—snow day.

“Schools would be closed, kids would stay home and do whatever,” Greenville County Schools spokesperson Tim Waller said.

Two words that will now become a thing of the past for Greenville County students.

“We can instantly go to an e-learning day, the learning continues, and we don’t have to utilize a snow day,” Waller said.

Waller said those former snow days will become four-day weekends throughout the year.

“These are going to become just student holidays. A day off to do whatever they want to do, whatever their parents want to do,” he said.

It’s something the Pickens County School District has been doing since 2018.

“We’ve been using those to make up our snow days every since,” district spokesperson John Eby said.

He said they started using virtual days following a particularly bad winter.

“Instead of doing digital learning because we have to, we want to make sure we’re using online learning in the places that it’s the best fit for students,” Eby said.

He’s not surprised that other districts are moving to this model too.

“There’s a trend in motion and what coronavirus did is push that trend as far as you could possibly go,” Eby said.

Both districts say there’s a grace period for students who might find themselves without power or internet in the case of severe weather, and Greenville is working on closing the wi-fi gap.

“We’ve had programs where we’ve equipped a lot of these homes based on income with portable mi-fi units,” Waller said.

Waller says there will still be plenty of time to enjoy the snow, even between virtual learning days.

“Get your sled out and go and stretch your legs a little bit,” Waller said.

The new student holidays will go into effect starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

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