With Remote Learning Schools Could Cancel Snow Days, But Will They?
Think back to when you were a kid and there was snow in the forecast. Remember how exciting it was? I would wake up early, which makes no sense when you were hoping for a snow day and a chance to sleep in. I'd turn on the radio and listen (actually more like prayed) for the school closing list to include my school.
I was listening for Boone Country Schools and for some reason, I always tuned in right about the time to hear Carrol County, and then I had to wait through all the other schools before it got back around to mine. There was nothing better than hearing that DJ on the radio say your school was closed due to snow. I wasn't a great student so it usually meant I would be missing a test or assignment that I wasn't prepared for anyway.
Today, kids don't even have to wait to find out if they are off for a snow day. They either get a text message or email letting them know the night before. No more early morning snow day bingo listening to the radio or watching the crawl at the bottom of the TV screen.
From Wednesday to Thursday we have a chance of getting around a foot of snow, but does that mean kids will get a snow day? Now, with remote learning, is the traditional snow day a thing of the past? A large number of school districts have gone remote learning until the end of the year anyway so getting a foot of snow really doesn't change much in the remote school day.
In September, the New York Education Department told school districts that they could do away with a traditional weather-related closure in favor of a day of remote instruction. This will be reevaluated after the 2020-21 school year.
Governor Cuomo has given the individual school districts the power to choose how they want to handle snow days in this new remote learning world. Technically, we really don't need snow days anymore, but I think most students and teachers want them.
Thankfully, most school districts in New York have agreed that snow days are an important part of school traditions that are built into the school calendar year. According to WYNT, Guilderland High School, Cohoes School District, North Colonie, and many other Capital Region school districts are keeping snow days. There are a few holdouts (Scrooges) that will not call a snow day and will make teachers and students report to their computers for remote learning, but those a few and far between.
I think that's a great thing to keep snow days as part of the education experience, especially with the overall fatigue that students and teachers are feeling. An unexpected day off is a real need right now.