MONTVALE - (AP) State education officials say a northern New Jersey school district's decision to have student's log on for a "virtual school day" during a winter storm earlier this year was innovative.

Plow clearing snow in Lakewood
Plow clearing snow in Lakewood (

But it won't count as an official school day.

The Record reports the state issued its decision this week. That came about four months after more than 96 percent of Pascack Valley Regional High School District students€” and all of the district's staffers €”logged in from home on Feb. 13.

Education officials said it couldn't count as one of the required 180 school days because districts must have their facilities available to meet the requirements of a true school day.

The district has already made up the day and another snow day that occurred on Feb. 14 €by having students came in for two days over spring vacation. District officials say they didn't try to hold a second "virtual school day" on Feb. 14 because at the time the initiative was "so new."

Pascack Valley Superintendent Erik Gundersen told the newspaper that the district wants to improve on its virtual school day which was hailed as a success by local officials and educational organizations. It also hopes the state can work with districts to develop a protocol for working from home in severe weather events.

During the "virtual school day," students logged in to their district-issued laptops and worked on class assignments, conducted research and even participated in physical education. They communicated with their teachers over forums, social media and email.

Some students said the workload felt more than normal. But many enjoyed the opportunity to work at their own pace.

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