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Alternative to Snow Days

Area schools react to alternatives to Snow Days
ALEXANDRIA, HUNTINGDON COUNTY - This winter, school districts had more snow days than usual to make. Students at Juniata Valley had nearly three weeks worth to make up. The weather even caused graduation to be pushed back.
 
"On a snow day, I could do academic stuff and be able to get my days in and stuff like that without having to go to school," said Jena Hampton, senior at Juniata Valley.
 
Going to school on a snow day is what some schools in the state are now going to do; but just online. It's being called a "Cyber Day," and Hampton has mixed feelings on it.
 
"I would be able to ask certain questions, but I don't feel like I would get the personal connection. I'd need that."
 
Implementing the program in the district would take a lot of work, says Superintendent David Christopher. The biggest concern is whether or not their students have access to the internet at home.
 
"A lot of our students use cellular services as main internet connection because they do have direct Wi-Fi in various areas on their cell phone, but not to have video chat with a teacher."
 
Along with the internet access, there’s also other group of students that could potentially miss out on days and services, like life skills and vo tech students.
 
"I think we're going to have to think about these kinds of things,” said Christopher. “We're going to have to because kids are asking for more options."
 
The school is going to be integrating Google Chromebooks in the coming years, but Christopher said the district is still quite a way from being able to have a cyber day.
 
Bishop Guilfoyle has decided to have Cyber Days instead of Snow Days next year.

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