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Parents prepare to pivot as snowstorm causes some schools to consider e-learning days

The impending arrival of snow, ice has some schools moving to alternative plans for students this week.

INDIANAPOLIS — An urgent question for many parents right now is what to do with their children if a snow day is declared in the coming days.

We found there's some options, even if your child's school dismisses early.

“Who knows what tomorrow will bring,” said Heather Macgumerait, who knows the forecast of lots of snow, ice and cold temperatures means the possibility of e-learning for her twins, who are second graders in Indianapolis Public Schools.

“Our principal has been great. She’s been telling us, 'Look, we don’t know what the district plan is. Here’s what the weather looks like. We’re sending home all the devices. We’re sending home all the information they need so they can keep doing school, no matter what the district plan is,'” Macgumerait said.

For Heather and her wife, who work from home, that won’t be a problem. She knows it’s not that easy for everyone. 

“This has been a really stressful two years, and this doesn’t make it any easier. It makes it a lot worse,” she said.

“Even after two years, it still forces us to have to change our plans for sure,” said David Jones, whose son, Henry, is also a student at IPS. 

Jones also has the option to stay home if his son Henry’s classes go to e-learning. 

“No explicit direction yet, other than just to stay by our phone and be ready to find out,” Jones said of the instructions from the district. 

“We have been doing e-learning since kids have been doing e-learning,” said Genevieve Sullivan with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. 

Sullivan has been monitoring class cancellations and possible delays, too, so she can update parents who use before- and after-school care through the Y at their children’s schools. 

RELATED: What Indianapolis city leaders want you to know ahead of the winter storm

If class start times are delayed for weather, Sullivan said that’s not a problem for kids who would likely be in the before-school program as early as 6:30 a.m. 

“We will keep your kids if they’re already in the building until school starts,” Sullivan explained. 

If school lets out early, but after 1 p.m., the Y’s after-school program will hold kids until they can be picked up. 

If school is canceled altogether, parents can bring their kids to one of the Y’s centers for a snow day camp and e-learning, unless that center is closed for bad weather, too. 

“If the YMCA is closed, our program is closed,” said Sullivan. 

With e-learning being an option now, no matter where kids spend the day, parents like Macgumerait say snow days just aren’t what they used to be. 

“Snow days were fun. Snow days are work now,” she said. 

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