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Cyber School—John Carroll's Answer to Snow Days

Snow days are a thing of the past for one Bel Air school.

JCTV News was broadcast on YouTube Feb. 13, 2014, a Cyber Day.
JCTV News was broadcast on YouTube Feb. 13, 2014, a Cyber Day.
While students in Harford County Public Schools were out making snow angels in mid February, pupils from John Carroll were at their laptops.

"The John Carroll School will no longer have 'Snow Days,'" the school said in a statement issued Feb. 12. "They will now be 'Cyber Days!'"

John Carroll is a private Catholic school in Bel Air whose 663 students come from Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties. The school has a 1:1 student-to-laptop ratio, so officials said learning should continue regardless of inclement weather.

According to John Carroll's statement on the initiative, teachers inform students which books they should take home the night before, and assignments are posted by 10 a.m. on the "Cyber Day." Students are expected to complete the assignments by a certain deadline specified by the teacher.

Assignments are reportedly posted on Edmodo, which is billed as "Facebook for schools," a site used by more than 32 million teachers and students for virtual learning.

In the event of a power outage, students are expected to make up their work when the power comes back on, John Carroll's statement said.

"Learning will continue and we will not have to makeup days missed due to snow," the school said.

John Carroll Principal Madelyn Ball said the school had budgeted for four snow days and had made up an additional three by having school on Presidents Day and two teacher development days, according to The Aegis, which said students would have an extra period for seven days at the end of the year to make up for another missed day.

"I refuse to add days at the end of the year because it doesn't help AP or senior classes in any way..." Ball told The Aegis.
Connie Sharpe March 01, 2014 at 12:47 PM
This is brilliant! The way schools should be led! Good call, Ms. Ball.
Delores Parker March 02, 2014 at 10:30 PM
what happens when there is a power failure
Missy March 03, 2014 at 07:37 AM
This is called "homeschooling" and it costs way less than $15,000 a year :-)
patrick.j.luft March 03, 2014 at 01:20 PM
Just so you know the kids come from more than just 3 counties in Maryland they also come from Pennsylvania, and at least 9 other countries. And "homeschooling" does not develop the social skills to preform to your full potential in life.

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