On Friday, Feb. 7, the McNicholas administrators have decided to change the scheduled off day for students into the first ever online make-up calamity day.
The state of Ohio allows every school five calamity days that can be used and do not have to be made up. With Cincinnati experiencing an unusually severe winter weather this year, including temperatures of -20 degrees with the wind chill, McNick has already surpassed the calamity day limit with six days .
“This winter has been terrible,” Director of Curriculum Dan Rosenbaum said. “I’ve been at McNick for 19 years, and I can’t remember ever having more than five snow days. We still have February and maybe early March to go [in this winter].”
With the growing number of schools in Ohio introducing Tablet PC programs, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has decided to allow each school three online calamity make-up days in addition to the five allowed days off. Principal Patty Beckert said that while it’s no replacement for the face-to-face interaction of the classroom, it is a good opportunity to make up the extra snow day since the majority of McNick students have tablets.
To meet the rules set by the ODE, each teacher must post an assignment to Schoology that is the equivalent to what can be completed in one class period in school. The assignment can be anything that the teacher chooses as long as it is can be assessed for a grade. Each assignment will be posted to Schoology no later than 9 a.m. on the snow day under a folder called “Snow Day Assignments.” The students will be required to complete these assignments before each teacher’s specified deadline, which cannot be more than two weeks away.
In the event of a cancelation on Wednesday, Feb. 5, an online calamity will be called as well.