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GRPS: No plan to replace snow days with remote learning days

Administrators weigh weather and travel conditions, as well as the timing of the snowfall, before calling off school.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Snow days are here to stay for Grand Rapids Public Schools, at least for now. 

Classes were cancelled last Thursday after a heavy snow storm, although multiple factors are taken into consideration by Grand Rapids Public Schools officials before closing schools. 

Administrators weigh weather and travel conditions, as well as the timing of the snowfall.

Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs John Helmholdt says the district is more prepared than ever before to switch to virtual instruction when needed, but he says there can be logistical challenges to getting equipment home to students when severe weather hits. 

"It takes a day or sometimes two days to get the students the equipment and get them online and logged in, so the best case scenario is to keep students in-person as many days as we can," he says.

As winter weather continues and temperature drops, the wind chill would need to be 20 degrees below zero for the district to call off school for a cold day.

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