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Computers To Battle Snow and Ice?


By Dan Hounsell Grounds Management
school bus driving on snow-covered road

Winter weather is the bane of many a K-12 grounds manager’s existence. Emergency communications, overnight shifts, and overtaxed workers and equipment are just a few of the issues facing managers who have to battle snow and ice in an effort to clear parking lots and sidewalks so schools can open.

Is computer technology the answer to the challenges managers face? One school district thinks it might be. Anderson (S.C.) School District 5 will be the first in the state to try an eLearning program that will eliminate makeup days caused by bad weather, according to the Anderson Independent Mail.

"With today's technology, it makes so much sense, from the practical standpoint and financially," says District 5 Superintendent Tom Wilson, who proposed the idea. "Technology has changed every profession, and we have the technology in place to keep kids working during the snow days and eliminate the makeup days.

"I think we will be a good model for the state. We've invested $11 million in Chromebooks in the last five years, and this enables us to make use of it."

The district has been selected as the state's pilot program for the upcoming school year. The eLearning days will enable the district to operate with a firm calendar in 2018-19, with no inclement weather makeup days. If snow or ice hit, students will access assignments via their Chromebooks, which do not require internet service.

This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell — dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com — editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and chief editor of Facilitiesnet.com.

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