Virtual Snow Days

Nora Toscano, Entertainment Editor

This school year is unprecedented, as students and teachers have adapted to being completely dependent on online learning. In previous years, teachers have utilized chromebooks and technology to enhance learning, yet still were completely capable of operating using paper. Now, every time the school needs to close down, students and teachers are able to operate from home. In theory, there is no need for snow days.


In a nation-wide survey of principles done by Education Week, a news organization covering K-12 education, it was discovered that 39% of schools had converted snow days to remote days and 32% were considering it. 


A Brooklyn parent said, “I felt like no matter what kind of learning we’re doing this year, this isn’t something that needs to be taken away from kids who have already lost a lot, ranging from not being able to see friends to losing parents to COVID.” Even though children are attending school again, they have lost the parts that make it fun. Because of this, multiple New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont districts are planning to have traditional snow days. They noted that to make a change, negotiations with teachers’ unions would be necessary. In New Jersey, some districts that mix remote and in-person learning decided to wait to see how dangerous a snowstorm is before making a decision. 


In Mahwah, which is in Bergen County, school officials sent a letter to parents stating that if school had to be cancelled because of the weather, there would be no online classes because snow allows an opportunity for “memory-making.”


They wrote, “Snow days are chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow, baking cookies, reading books and watching a good movie.”


Santa Soriano-Vasquez, the mother of a sixth-grade student from Manhattan, originally intended to have her son learn remotely during December’s storm, but decided to take him to Central Park to enjoy the snow after considering the stress of the last few months. “I’m not a parent that needs 100 percent attendance,” she said. “The kids here in New York City don’t really get that many snow days even when it’s snowing, and he works hard when he’s in class.” 


Here in Wantagh, the district opted to give its students a real snow day when the storm hit in December. Most students were extremely grateful for this decision given that it has been an especially challenging school year for everyone so far. Whether we will continue to have traditional snow days if there is another storm remains uncertain.