Snow days: Why they may be gone for good

Snow days: Why they may be gone for good

 A beloved ritual could be coming to an end, said Troy Closson in The New York Times. As teachers and school districts have become accustomed to remote classes during the pandemic, it no longer makes sense to cancel school on the day of a big snowfall. Philadelphia’s public schools held classes remotely during last week’s blizzard. Denver, no stranger to snow, scrapped snow days in October, and officials in Omaha said that they intended to abolish the practice permanently. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that publicschool kids in his sprawling system would have “fully remote learning” despite a snowstorm last week. “I’m kind of sad for the kids,” he said, adding that snow days were “a thing of the past.” Not entirely, but the trend is moving in that direction, said Mark Lieberman in EdWeek.org. We surveyed school officials across the country and discovered that 39 percent had already given up snow days for good and another 32 percent were considering doing so.

“No one wants to be making up snow days until it’s almost July,” said the Pittsfield, Mass., Berkshire Eagle in an editorial, but it would sad to take them away. Kids feel real joy when they wake up to a snowstorm, find out school is canceled, and spend the day frolicking in a winter wonderland. Let’s “keep that winter tradition alive.” The idea of abolishing snow days is impractical, said Jessica Beym in NJ.com. As any parent who has tried to get a child to focus on Google Classroom knows, it’s a challenge on the best of days. Now, imagine trying to do it “when the snow’s coming down.”

“Let’s be honest,” said Andrew Boris in WPDH .com. As the parent of a 9-year-old, I know kids are falling behind in their education despite teachers’ best efforts at online instruction. Our kids don’t need to lose another day of schooling because of nostalgia for snow days. Remote learning rarely encompasses a full day, and with no bus ride home, “kids can just run right outside and have hours to play before dinner.” Besides, if school is canceled, does anyone believe today’s kids will spend the day on sleds and making snowmen, as opposed to getting on their electronic devices to play virtual games or swap photos and messages with friends? Better that kids are “learning something during that screen time.”

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