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More virtual learning means snow days could become thing of the past

While Knox County is choosing to avoid complete "snow days," other districts are keeping the inclement weather day alive.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Schools have to decide whether snow days will  be a thing of the past with more students now able to learn from home.

Snow days usually mean time off school when all you have to worry about is how big of a snowman you can make, what hill you're going to sled down and who you're going to hit with a snowball.

But in 2020, with more students learning from their living rooms and seeing lessons through a screen, could the snow day be obsolete?

For Knox County students, it's a maybe.

Superintendent Bob Thomas said in October the district used up almost all of the snow days to delay the start of the year.

"We would only have two days left that we could possibly use as snow days without having to make up days, so right now I'm thinking snow days might be a thing of the past, they might become learning days," Thomas said.

Knox County Schools spokesperson Carly Harrington confirmed the policy Monday, saying, "because KCS is now a one-to-one school district, we are encouraged by the opportunity to implement online learning to continue instruction and in hopes of not having to modify the school calendar." 

For some school districts across East Tennessee though, the snow day lives on.

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In Anderson County, where students are one-to-one on devices, the school system still plans to use their built-in snow days, where there will be no instruction or learning, even for virtual students who don't have to leave home.

The same goes for the plateau in Cumberland County and the mountainous areas like Sevier County. There, snow days will still be a thing.

In more rural areas, like Jefferson and Campbell Counties, there are many students who may not have internet connection at home and they won't expect their kids to do distance learning on an inclement weather day.

For now, fun days in the snow can mostly stick around.