The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education canceled the “blizzard bag” initiative late last month, citing concerns about equal access to the program.
Blizzard bags are educational materials allocated to students to complete at home on snow days. Each bag counts as one day of attendance, meaning schools do not need to tack on an extra day to the end of the year.
A few school districts in Franklin County recently started the blizzard bag program: Mohawk Trail, Hawlemont, Ralph C. Mahar, Orange and Petersham. The remaining districts — Frontier, Pioneer, Greenfield and Gill-Montague — did not introduce blizzard bags. And in Union 28, which oversees four Franklin County elementary schools — Swift River, Erving, Leverett and Shutesbury — only Swift River School introduced blizzard bags, according to its Principal Kelley Sullivan.
The Ralph C. Mahar, Orange and Petersham districts plan to continue the program next year for up to seven days.