Milford Students Have Spoken – Blizzard Bags Aren’t An Efficient Solution


Zach Austin, Staff Writer

The verdict is in – Blizzard Bags are ineffective at best.

On March 4th, Milford called for its first snow day of the year, which also marked the day that Blizzard Bags – also known as Alternative Structured Learning (ASL) Days – would be piloted and tested for future use. If approved by the School Committee, this program would permanently replace snow days starting next year.

We put out a survey during the day asking students for feedback regarding their overall opinions on these new make-up assignments, and the student responses were mixed. Out of 80 responses, 58.3% of students agreed that Blizzard Bags were a better alternative to making up snow days. Despite this, only 23.8% believe that they are actually effective in doing so.

Student responses to “I believe blizzard bags are successful in covering a full day of school work”

   There are several potential reasons for this discrepancy. Many students voiced their concern over the content of the assignments themselves. Although the work is supposed to be continuous with the content discussed in class, students did not see the benefit it had towards the current lesson.

“The blizzard bag idea was a good one to start with, but as I spent my entire day doing what seemed to me as busy work for all my classes, I realized I would have rather stayed the extra day in June than do this ever again,” one student said.

Several students expressed their dismay towards having to do extra schoolwork at home. Rather than waking up and knowing that there is an extra day to catch up on work, students now have to complete a greater amount of assignments in less time.

“I feel that snow days are supposed to give students a break. I’m already up to my knees drowning in homework, projects, and other assignments, and adding additional assignments on top of that adds to my stress level and reduces the amount of sleep I get,” one responder said.

One response in particular stood out. A student who had previously been home schooled described how similar at-home assignments have proven to be unsuccessful in the past.

“I personally spent the first 11 years of my life being home schooled. The way I see it, if doing work at home was a sufficient means for me to be educated, I would not be in public school in the first place,” the student explained

However, there were several students that saw the potential benefits of this program. Many students expressed that making up the work during the year was worth it in order to have an earlier summer. One student acknowledged that although “students already have so much work that snow days should be a time to relax”, they are okay with them “because that would mean we end school earlier.” Another student argued that there was more than enough time for them to complete their work, and they believe that everyone will be thankful for the Blizzard Bags once they get out of school early in the summer. 

One thing is clear: Blizzard Bags are far from perfect. With a mere 11.3% of students agreeing that learning on a computer was comparable with classroom experience, improvements should be made to the connectivity between the assignments given at school and outside the classroom. If teachers further incorporate technology into their daily assignments, it would be easier for students to adjust when they are forced to learn at home. With some tweaking to this program, Milford will not only improve the quality of their education, but students will become more satisfied along the way.