Graphic by Audrey Kercher ’23
It’s a winter school day and you wake up naturally with no alarm at 9 a.m.. Looking out the window, the usually green grass is filled with flurries of white snowflakes. You are in a rush to get ready for school until you find out that it’s a snow day and you have all day to just relax and not worry about studies.
This is a delightful scene for students on winter mornings. However, with the use of online learning in the hybrid learning schedule, students now have the resources to continue to learn online. As winter is right around the corner, students and teachers alike have started wondering whether snow days will be no school days or whether they will turn into full Zoom days.
Although snow days are some of my favorite days in a school year, transitioning these days online would allow for more learning and would prevent school from running later into the summer.
Westport Public Schools transitioned to a hybrid learning model, whereby one group of students attend school, while the other group logs into their classes on Zoom from home. Since at least one group of students is always supposed to be remote at a time, there are always assignments set up that can be done online.
This is made easier by the rule implemented that teachers are allowed to Zoom in from their own houses during schoolwide remote learning days. If there is inclement weather, then it only makes sense to call in an online day for everyone, so students don’t miss out on learning, especially when students only meet with their class twice a week regularly and three times some weeks.
This solution would also be safer as administrators wouldn’t feel pressure to have to open schools if the roads are truly unsafe, but the snow days exceed the built in amount of five. Connecticut tends to have a lot of snow and is hit by many hurricanes on a yearly basis. For example, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept through Connecticut and students were out of school for several days. However, this dilemma could have been averted if schools did classes remotely.
Snow days are always a wonderful break for students, but there are usually concerns about the missed school day being tacked on to the end of the school year, or cutting into holiday breaks. According to the Westport Public Schools 2020-2021 School Calendar, there are five snow days built into the calendar and any remaining snow days past five will cut into April break. This can potentially delay or cancel students’ plans for break. If snow days are online, then there wouldn’t be any chance for breaks being cancelled or diminished.
Although having snow days replaced by online days would be disappointing to students and take some of the joy out of the winter season, it would allow for the school year to be more efficient. Also because of the already limited school year where each class doesn’t meet as frequently, it allows to not miss anymore learning. Overall, turning snow days into full Zoom days is more beneficial for students.