With Chromebooks at home, will Philly schools still have snow days?

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  With Philadelphia teachers trained in Google Classroom and students using loaner Chromebooks at home, could there be no more snow days?

Pennsylvania state law allows school districts to apply to have up to five "flexible instruction days" a year, where students could learn from home on their laptops. That saves districts from having to extend the school year to make up for snow days. 

Philadelphia was never in a position to take advantage, because so many of its students did not have computers or internet access at home. 

But Philadelphia Schools Superintendent William Hite says now that the district has loaned out 81,000 Chromebooks for remote learning, it may consider holding remote classes while it's snowing. 

"There are things now that we have the ability to do because more people have the technology that we didn't have before. And so it creates opportunities for us,” he explained. 

And it wouldn't have to take a snowstorm. Hite pointed to days lost when schools were closed for asbestos issues.

"The days that were missed — no one's talking about the environmental stuff anymore because we're working through the pandemic. But there were days missed for the environmental stuff,” he added. 

Gov. Wolf signed the "cyber snow day" law last summer.