Fort Mill, Rock Hill, York, Clover SC School Snow Day Plans

Weather experts are predicting sleet and freezing rain this weekend in the Rock Hill area.

Weather experts are predicting sleet and freezing rain this weekend in the Rock Hill area.

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A primary school tradition could meet a modern alternative early next week. What exactly could snow day become?

With significant amounts of snow, ice, or winter mix expected over the weekend, school districts across the region could face a new challenge. Traditionally, if roads were deemed unsafe due to winter weather, students would not attend school. When COVID-19 hit, districts across the country invented and introduced a range of virtual school options.

The weather forecast for Saturday evening through Sunday shows cold temperatures and precipitation that could bring snow and ice. Some current models show 2-4 inches of possible snow in the Rock Hill area. Whether this wintry weather is materializing or just how severe it could be should become clearer as the weekend progresses.

School districts have plans in place

Thursday morning, it was too early to tell what impact the weather might have on schools in Fort Mill. A day off or virtual learning day is on the table.

“We haven’t made a decision at this time, but we have asked schools to be prepared for either option if we miss school due to weather,” said Joe Burke, gatekeeper. -word of the district.

The area hasn’t seen significant, widespread snowfall since schools developed virtual options in the spring of 2020.

On a traditional snow day, students don’t have school, but make up for the day later in the school calendar. A virtual day could count as a traditional teaching. This could be virtual live or have students work on their own.

“Many factors will determine whether the day is used for an eLearning day or whether a later day is selected,” Burke said. “Some of these factors depend on the severity of the storm and the possible damage caused in our region.”

Shortly before noon on Friday, the district sent a message to parents saying schools should ask students and staff to bring home needed items, lesson plans and devices if they need them next week. due to the weather.

“This is a precautionary measure and we have not yet made a final decision to move to online learning, but we want students and staff to be prepared if we encounter any weather-related issues. in our area,” the post read.

Schools in the area may not do their trials with this storm. It may not bring snow and ice. If so, schools have an extra day to thaw roads with Monday off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Or, the ice could linger on Tuesday to force a decision.

Like Fort Mill, Rock Hill schools have a plan as the threat of snow or ice approaches.

Rock Hill Schools spokesperson Lindsay Machak told the Herald in an email that the district will do everything possible to ensure students’ educational opportunities continue at home.

The district, through the state, has the option of using five days of e-learning each year in the event of inclement weather. This means that in the event of icy, snowy or high winds, the district would use an “e-learning day”, i.e. a day when students receive work via an online platform and must complete it within a certain time.

“If for some reason we ran out of e-learning days, we would use weather days (snow days) and then had to make them up according to our catch-up day schedule,” Machak said.

No school on Tuesday

It would take a major storm to force the issue to Clover or York. Both districts are expected to be closed on Tuesday.

The Clover School District Board voted Wednesday at a special meeting to move the teachers’ workday originally scheduled from March 14 to January 18. The schedule change was made because a significant number of employees are absent due to COVID-19, according to the neighborhood’s website.

Clover School District spokesman Bryan Dillon told the Herald in an email that the district’s schedule has three built-in days to use as bad weather make-up days, which is required by the state. The district also has the option of calling an “e-learning day” in the event of inclement weather, he said.

Because the district has the ability to plan ahead, the district could call an “e-learning day” on Wednesday if time demands, Dillon said.

“CSD will be closely monitoring the amount of weather we receive and its impact on our routes,” he said.

York School District students are also expected to be absent on Tuesday. York School District spokesman Tim Cooper told the Herald the district was monitoring the weather and had begun considering its options.

The district board voted in an emergency meeting Thursday to change its schedule, moving the teachers’ workday originally scheduled from Feb. 18 to Jan. 18, according to the agenda. The change was made to “help staff and students reach a tipping point with COVID-19 numbers,” according to a statement from the district.

In Chester

No decisions will be made for schools in Chester until there is a better picture of conditions on Tuesday, said Chris Christoff, public information officer for the Chester County School District.

“The district has designated virtual days on reserve for weather-related issues if needed. Luckily Monday is a public holiday so the snow won’t affect schools,” he said. “We will have to wait and see what the conditions are for Tuesday morning.”

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John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. He covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education primarily in York and Lancaster counties. The Fort Mill native has won dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and several President McClatchy Awards for news coverage in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
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Norma A. Roth