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Snow Days

Snow Days

I received a notification. Williamsport Area is on a two-hour delay. I knocked on Jensen’s door. He was already stirring. It was 6:00 a.m. I gave him the news, and he went back to bed. There was a new update a few minutes later. Williamsport Area is now REMOTE. We were in a sudden panic. Well. Except for Teach. Loyalsock already pulled the plug. I had to leave for work shortly. And the poor kid had to log in. Williamsport no longer believes in snow days. Loyalsock does.

“This is so stupid,” a disgruntled third grader told me. “I wanted to go sled riding. But no. I had to do my math homework instead. My other friends don’t have to. This is not fair.”

This has been a hot topic. COVID is to blame. Some school districts continue to use the technologies. While others want to stay plain. A day off every once in a while isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I am still on the fence. Online learning is tricky. It puts a burden on our parents.

“My dad wanted to go skiing,” Another fourth grader claimed. “But I couldn’t join him. I had to zoom. We deserve a break too. My dad teaches at another school.”

I did some research. Scary thought, I know. Several smart dudes have looked into this. I found some great stuff, too. Most academics actually like the idea of going remote. This allows districts to complete their training because of weather or other circumstances. I don’t know, guys. There are many benefits to this new type of learning, but there are several drawbacks, too. Here is a short list of the pros and cons.

A snow day usually means one less day of summer. But most schools already have policies that have weather days built in. This keeps the academic calendar somewhat on track.

Lengthy absences from school often lead to gaps in learning. Researchers believe that every inch of snow has a direct correlation with our children’s performances on standard testing.

COVID provided opportunities to try hybrid or online learning. Sure, it was rough in the beginning, but many districts have perfected their approach. They have fine-tuned it. Many of the students and parents are now comfortable with this virtual experience.

Deciding to call a remote learning day is much easier than the decision to call a snow day. There is a lot of pressure to completely shut down. Remote days already have a structure in place.

Kids don’t do well online. Little guys especially struggle in this environment. Snow days are fantastic.

Snow days are more of a reward. Experiencing the hot chocolate and extra sleep is what it is all about. We all have some great memories of these snow days.

COVID proved that remote learning has some detrimental effects. Student’s social development and mental health were impacted.

Unlike the remotes, snow days allow families and friends to spend quality time together. Even something as simple as eating lunch together can go a long way. Snow days are OK.

Interesting debate. Again. I am going back and forth, folks. Fortunately, the spring is on its way. Perhaps we can revisit this another time. Cheers.