Snow Storm Protocol in place for Orono Schools


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Orono has specific protocols in place to help guide decisions on when to call a delayed start, early release or a snow day.

Protocol regarding snow storms has become slightly more confusing due to the evolution of Distance Learning. Parents and teachers alike have been uncertain about whether or not classes would be held in the case of a late start, early release, or a snow day.

“A snow day does not necessarily entail distance learning. We have been exploring alternatives for how we can ensure continuity of learning in protracted weather events. All would be announced to students and families,” superintendent Dr. Kristine Flesher said.

Orono Schools is allotted a certain amount of snow days per year, which has brought forth the question of whether or not distance learning during a snow day would count as a school day.

“Orono Schools has built in enough time in the calendar planning process that it is highly unlikely there would need to be a modification to the school calendar,” Flesher said.

Snow days can prove to be very difficult for working parents, being that if Orono Schools is closed all day, then ECFE programs, full-day preschool, Discovery Kids and Spartan Kids programs will also be closed. The interference with the workday may result in more of a challenge for some students to complete Distance Learning tasks.

“I lean more towards no [distance learning] because it’s nice for everyone to be able to take a break now and then. And with snow days being so rare, it wouldn’t hurt to take a day off,” Orono High School science teacher Andrew Kahler said.

The protocol around snow days tends to be complicated, but considering the rarity of snow days and the state allotted snow days, it is highly unlikely that Distance Learning would be required and days would be added to the academic calendar.