Snow days could be cancelled due to virtual learning

Are Snow Days Over?

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Photo Credit: Mrs. Danielle Allen

COVID-19 vanished snow days because of the establishment of virtual classroom. Now snow days would no longer be used.

By: Caitlyn Abreu, reporter

COVID-19 forced many schools and universities to begin the 2020 school year with virtual classrooms, which could see an end to snow days. School administrations are considering using virtual school days instead of snow days to save school days.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in March forced students to stay home and learn and do virtual learning. Schools have become comfortable with virtual learning and came up with a solution that could replace snow days with virtual learning.

Snow days were days for students to sleep in, relax, and help neighbors shovel snow off their driveways. However, the pandemic showed schools that there’s a solution to the utilization of snow days. Weather hazards will no longer stop schools from teaching. Schools in different states have been planning to replace snow days with virtual meetings. The New Jersey Department of Education is debating. However, seems to side with the idea of ending snow days.

Should we continue to have snow days or go virtual so we can end the school year sooner?

  • go remote and end the school year earlier (50%, 5 Votes)
  • have snow days (40%, 4 Votes)
  • undecided (10%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Kenneth Pace, Principal of Colonia High School breaks down the important points to consider. There are some setbacks for Woodbridge School Township if they replaced snow days with virtual learning. Pace stated, “At the present moment, most elementary students have one of the secondary schools older devices to use but they may NOT all have adequate devices.” Elementary students may not have the right devices for snow days to be ruled out. Pace continued his statement by adding, “The WTSD is doing everything they can during the pandemic to meet the needs of all students at all grade levels but it was never planned for every elementary or pre-school student to have a device.” Not only do the schools have devices that aren’t adequate but some aren’t provided with the resources they need for a virtual school day.

Virtual meetings might be problematic depending on weather conditions. Snowstorms might interfere with wifi and internet connections. Snow days might have a use if interference occurs. This means that snow days are still an option if all students aren’t able to access technology.

There are benefits in not using snow days. Some benefits include not delaying the end of the school year, solutions to students not having longer days in a hot classroom during the summer. It also help schools can come up with solutions for other weather conditions like a hurricane, extreme heat, etc.

Surprisingly, 57% of high school students polled by The Declaration were is favor of removing snow days in order to start summer vacation earlier.

CNN reported in October that Mahwah Township Public Schools located in Bergen County, New Jersey decided not to do away with snow days just so kids could be kids. In a district statement, the Board of Education in Mahwah stated, “We have decided that few childhood acts remain unchanged due to COVID-19 and we will maintain the hope of children by calling actual snow days due to inclement weather. 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.”

Colonia High School senior, Melanie Cruz stated, “I would rather save our snow days and use them when strongly needed. Without using them students can be more relaxed at the end of the school year and don’t feel stressed towards summertime.” This isn’t stressful for parents since most are working from home and their child is practicing at-home learning. Although they’re many negatives, there are some positives for all students and staff. Some states don’t know their solution to the problem. Many are siding towards ending snow days. 

Other states such as Kansas, Pennsylvania and Colorado have changed snow days to virtual learning days. New York City has plans to do the same. As the winter white starts to fall, many children will have to wait to see if they can build that snowman or will they have to log in to that Zoom call instead.

 

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