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Central Ohio Schools Turn to Virtual Classes after Series of Snow Days

GRANVILLE (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) -- As schools run out of the five state-allowed calamity days, some districts are implementing virtual learning programs.
The Department of Education said it has approved about 100 districts' plans to allow students to take virtual classes to make up for the lost days. The department said a district can use three days of online learning before resorting to tacking on extra days to the end of a school year. 

In Licking County, Granville High School students may employ an already established learning management system called "Moodle," which allows the students to work from home.

"This gives us the flexibility to continue learning even though students might not be at school," Granville Principal Ryan Bernath said.

He said the online classes are a preferred alternative to adding make-up days to the school calendar. 

"Family time is a precious commodity," Bernath said. "We don't want families to have to cancel already planned vacations or to miss school. Neither one has a positive outcome."

Bernath said about 40 families, or five percent of students, don't have access to the online programs. In these scenarios, school officials will provide hard copies of the "blizzard bag" lessons for those students.

Granville has already used five calamity days so far this year.  Bernath said weather forecasts lead him to believe next week may cause them to call more snow days.
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