Mohawk, Hawlemont to test out ‘Blizzard Bags’ during spring vacation

  • Mohawk Trail Regional High School. RECORDER FILE PHOTO

Recorder Staff
Published: 4/4/2018 9:58:35 PM

BUCKLAND — Assigning school homework during spring break may sound like a bad idea — unless it means that students can start summer vacation two days early.

Before going ahead with plans next fall to start an “Alternative Structured Learning Time” — or “Blizzard Bag Program” — the Hawlemont and Mohawk school district students will be taking school assignments home for the two designated “snow days” of their April 16-20 spring vacation.

“The basic concept … is that a certain number of snow days would serve as official school days, with the students completing assignments at a level of rigor at least comparable to that of a typical school day in mid-to-late June,” said Superintendent Michael Buoniconti.

Buoniconti said a survey of school families and staff on whether the districts should implement the Blizzard Bag program resulted in 75 percent to 85 percent of respondents expressing support of the program.

The Mohawk-Hawlemont Blizzard Bag Committee has been meeting throughout the winter and has recommended starting the Blizzard Bag alternative in the fall. But with nine “snow days” this year, school officials want to test this approach now. If it is successful, Mohawk and Hawlemont students will finish the current school year on June 20, instead of June 22.

Basically, Blizzard Bag assignments mean high school students will have up to four hours of work; middle school students will have up to three hours of homework; and grade school children will have between one hour to two hours per day of homework.

Both the Mohawk and Hawlemont school committees are expected to vote next week on whether to approve this Blizzard Bag tryout. If both school committees approve it, students will get their Blizzard Bag assignments on the Thursday before the April vacation. Also, they will have five days after returning from April vacation to complete the work and hand it in.


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