Should Snow Days Take Place During Remote Learning?

Should Snow Days Take Place During Remote Learning?

Nevaeh Lopez, Herald Staff

With schools all across the country either being fully remote, hybrid, or making plans to turn somewhat remote due to the rising coronavirus cases, there comes a lot of questions on how school systems are handling vacations. That also ties into snow days, as large snowstorms won’t really intervene with school anymore, unless the snow cuts the power out. This grew concerns from students, who used to look forward to the pop up snow days spread throughout the winter, granting them a break from school. Students now start to dread the snow days, because they have to sit in class for 4-7 hours a day while their siblings and students from nearby districts are granted snow days. It isn’t the best feeling. But, the big question, coming from a student, is: Should snow days be used as remote learning days?

First off, I agree with the superintendent’s decision. Before you get upset, just hear me out. The amount of snow days that we get in New England is refreshing. It’s nice when you get to wake up late in the middle of the week, take your little siblings outside to play (even play by yourself for a bit), make some hot cocoa, watch some cozy movies, and just relax. Although the journey to school just the day after is a bit troublesome, it’s still great while it lasts. But, in the moment, you do not think about how that one snow day will affect you later. Whether it’s possibly forgetting what you learned the day before, or even losing track of your homework or classwork, you just simply do not  think about it. But, the amount of snow days we usually get here, are definitely the main cause as to why we usually have an extended school year. I bet you forgot about that, and if you did not, good job for being sensible. While you do enjoy the days off, I doubt you will enjoy being in school any longer than you have to. Especially in late June/early July. The couple days difference from the set last day of school, and the (five) snow days emergency last day of school, can make a complete difference when it comes to weather. It gets hot here, and it gets hot fast. According to Weather Atlas, the average temperature in middle June ranged from 60° to 75°, and if you’ve ever lived in a New England summer, that’s about as cold as it’s going to get until early October. But, in late June/Early July, the weather drastically averages from 65° to 85°, which is a huge change in just a couple of days. Considering the fact that 95°+ heatwaves are super common during that time, I would not want to be stuck in a non-air conditioned school, missing out on beach and pool days. But that’s just my opinion. 

But, while I seem totally anti-student relaxation, I do bring up some valid points. But because I’m a student, I’m not completely a pro at all. Having to do school during a snow day can suck, especially when you are so used to having them off. Not all school districts are remote, and most private, charter and religious schools in the area are actually doing in person learning only, because these schools are so low populated. If you have siblings that aren’t in the same school as you, or even in the same school district as you, things can get pretty complicated during snow days. Their superintendents and school system may make different choices for them, depending on what would be best for their area. My brother goes to a private school out of our district, and he actually had a real snow day last week. I was jealous seeing him get up late, and stay in his pajamas all day. My sister is in our school system, so she had to do remote learning as well. She was extremely upset because she didn’t have time to go out in play, because it got dark outside so quickly. But I can only imagine how kids with little siblings that get the day off or do not go to school must feel. While they are sitting in class all day, their siblings get to play outside, and enjoy the snow. It’s not a great feeling at all. Snow days are supposed to be fun, for everyone, not just for the kids who get lucky. 

This brings me to my biggest idea yet. I’ve found a solution, at only fifteen years old. I’ve found the solution to fix snow days, a solution that has never been heard of before. That’s a lie actually, I am positive this has been thought of, even before we started remote learning. But, it’s a great idea, and I thought about it as well. Why don’t school superintendents evaluate the snowstorms, and imagine that students are going in person. If they would cancel in person school for these conditions, cancel remote as well. But, so the students do not have to miss any days of learning, they can have a homework lesson assigned from each of their teachers, to ensure that they will always keep their brain engaged. This work can have a set due date (it does not have to be done in one day), and it can be counted as extra credit, with a test grade, which I’ve recently learned are the most important grades. With this solution, older students get to relax during the day, while younger students get to play out in the snow together, and all the students get to work at their own pace. I do agree that snow days are going to be different now, but just because they are different, does not mean they cannot be innovative.