School districts around the country have been looking to e-learning as a way to address school closings. In Indiana, for instance,\u00a0about 170\u00a0public and private school districts have been approved to use them.\r\nNow a district in South Carolina, Anderson County School District 5, has been selected to pioneer an e-learning program for K-12 students, school officials\u00a0announced\u00a0in a social media post last week. The district has about 14,000 students.\r\nOne consequence of establishing the pilot program: no more \u201csnow days.\u201d\r\nDistrict 5 Superintendent Tom Wilson\u00a0told\u00a0the Anderson Independent-Mail, \u201cTechnology has changed every profession, and we have the technology in place to keep kids working during the snow days and eliminate the makeup days.\u201d\r\nWilson suggested the e-learning pilot to the state\u2019s Education Oversight Committee in May.\r\nAnderson County, in the north central part of the state, does not get much snow. Greenville, just northeast of the county, averages just three inches a year, for instance. But \u201csnow days\u201d is about more than snow, Wilson told EdScoop.\r\n\u201cWe miss a lot of days,\u201d he said. South Carolina gets hit by hurricanes, for instance. \u201cLast year during Hurricane Irma \u2026 we missed three days. It\u2019s really more for inclement weather generally, not just snow.\u201d\r\nBy moving to e-learning days, the school district can stick to the schedule established at the beginning of the school year and avoid the expense of tacking on extra days at the end. That really helps the kids, Wilson said, because so many children don\u2019t come to school for the makeup days at the end of the year, after exams and graduation.\r\nThe district expects real-dollar savings, as well. \u201cThere will be a cost savings in fuel alone. If it was implemented statewide, there would be enormous savings,\u201d he said.\r\nAs a pilot program, the Education Oversight Committee gave the school district a number of metrics to track, so the data can be used to evaluate the program\u2019s effectiveness and potential application in other districts across the state.\r\n\u201cWe signed an agreement on certain data points they\u2019ll be interested in. It\u2019s not just willy-nilly, do what you want,\u201d Wilson said. \u201cIt\u2019s to allow them to evaluate the pilot to see how it goes \u2026 Obviously, the more days you do this, the more data you\u2019ll have. One year we can have one snow day, another year we may have 10 \u2026 We\u2019re well overdue for a major ice storm.\u201d\r\nThe school district has invested $11 million in Chromebooks over the past five years, he said, so the e-learning program will expand both the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of the district's one-to-one devices.\r\n\u201cOur students use Chromebook every day. They\u2019re communicating with their teachers seven days a week,\u201d Wilson explained. \u201cThis is not earth-shattering. When I drive to school I see kids waiting for the school bus working with their Chromebooks offline \u2026 This is not new for these kids.\u201d\r\nThe school district\u2019s investment goes beyond the Chromebook hardware, Wilson said. Every school in the district has a digital integration specialist who goes into classrooms and works with teachers to help them make the best use of the technology. There also is a cadre of IT staff available to address technical issues and make repairs, he said.\r\nOn the school district\u2019s Facebook post announcing the initiative, parents asked about students in lower grades who don\u2019t take Chromebooks home.\r\n\u201cStudents in grades 3-12 will be able to take home Chromebooks,\u201d a school official responded. \u201cWe will be 1:1 [for] grades K-12 by October\/November of this school year.\u201d\r\nAnother parent asked whether internet access would be required. The school district responded no, that students would be able to download assignments to their Chromebooks at school and work on them at home without internet access.\r\nWilson said the school district is surveying families with children in K-2 to see how many of them have siblings in 3-12 who already have Chromebooks. District officials are looking into how many students may not have internet access at home, just in case. Wilson said students could use smartphones to access their lessons, as well. And students will be given five days to complete e-learning assignments, to account for any hiccups.\r\nSchools will designate e-learning days when closings are announced on local news, on the district website and by school messenger calls, according to published reports. Assignments will be loaded electronically into Google Classroom, which all District 5 teachers are using in their classrooms for lessons, resources and student support.\r\n\u201cAs we implement [this], we\u2019ll be teaching all the teachers how to be prepared well before the inclement weather shows up, so they\u2019ll have a plan in place,\u201d Wess Grant, the district\u2019s COO, said.\r\nAs for being able to enjoy a rare Southern snowfall, Grant said kids will have a chance to be kids.\r\n\u201cWhat our teachers will do is post \u2018classroom hours.\u2019 It might be from 8 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m., so it\u2019s not like the kids won\u2019t be able to go out and play in the snow,\u201d he said.