Press Club

Could APS Students Telecommute During Snow Days?

Six-foot high mountains of snow in the Taylor Elementary school zone (file photo)Arlington Public Schools students are off today due to a scheduled teacher grade preparation day. It’s the eighth consecutive weekday off for APS students, who’ve enjoyed one snow day after another since Thursday, Jan. 21.

Care-free snow days, however, could eventually become a thing of the past.

APS is likely, in the near future, to consider the idea of having students “telecommute” from home when school is cancelled. They would do so from their school-issued computers — APS is in the process of outfitting every high school student with a Macbook Air and every second- through eighth-grader with an iPad.

Once every second-grade student and up has a laptop or iPad, teachers could assign homework, reading and online lessons remotely and students could complete it from the comfort of their own homes. Theoretically, at least — some policy changes would be needed, particularly when it comes to expectations for teachers. There’s also the question of whether all APS teachers and families have internet access at home.

“For students, it will be explored in the future once all students have devices,” said APS spokesman Frank Bellavia, in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com. “For teachers, this will require some policy changes which will probably be discussed in the future as well.”

File photo

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