Snow days in some Tri-State school districts may become a thing of the past, thanks to COVID-19.
For Malinda Uetrecht and her two children, both students at Walnut Hills High School in the Cincinnati Public Schools district, learning from home has become the norm during the coronavirus pandemic. She thinks it makes sense to replace snow days -- when students would otherwise have to make up a day of learning -- with NTI, or non-traditional learning, better known as virtual learning.
"It sounds like we are going to stay remote at least until March," Uetrecht said. "In my mind, my kids are snuggled in here inside our house. There is no reason to take a snow day."
While Cincinnati Public Schools did not respond to WCPO's request for information about snow days, Kenton County School District's Board of Education, across the river in Northern Kentucky, has already committed to such an approach.
"We applied to be an NTI school district, and that application was accepted," said Jess Dykes, director of public information for KCSD. The district's board of education voted to direct the school administration to pursue the action.
Covington Independent Public Schools, also located in Kenton County, Kentucky, said they also will use remote learning for inclement weather.
Dykes with Kenton County said that, instead of giving students and teachers the day off for inclement weather, learning will continue online, just as it has for inclement public health during the pandemic.
"We don't have to have a disruption in the learning process due to circumstances beyond our control," Dykes said.
Previously, KCSD was "a school district that had days built into our calendar" for students and teachers not being able to commute to their school building when conditions didn't allow it safely. But having to deal with such a reality for more than half a year has changed some officials' and parents' thinking.
"I definitely think it's a better option, because a few years ago, we had days off just for it being cold, and no one wants to go into the summer," Uetrecht said. "I'm old enough that I remember the winters of '77 and '78, where we had to go to school in June until almost July."