The Extinction of Snow Days

The+Extinction+of+Snow+Days

Image by Ava Paolucci

Ava Paolucci, Sophomore, Staff Reporter

Every winter, kids look forward to a few days off due to inclement weather.  Students and teachers alike put spoons under their pillows, flush ice down their toilets, and wear their pajamas inside out and backward to tempt superstitious faith into their favor. Now that schooling can be done virtually, snow days may cease to exist.

Snow days have been in danger of eradication for the past decade. With constant technological advancements, schools all over the country have found virtual options as an alternative to halting instruction. From work packets made just for snow days to recorded lessons, many have already been without weather-related cancellations. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down in-school learning indefinitely, the remaining districts were forced to create readily available digital options. These resources may mark the end of the lazy, TV show binging, hot cocoa drinking days, students are known to enjoy.  

Sophomore Audrey Levenson said “My favorite thing about snow days is the feeling of excitement that comes from hearing the phone ring early in the morning, and the wonder that comes from the potential of a free day at home.”  

At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the New York State Department of Education decided they would let the schools decide the fate of snow days for the year. 

“As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to provide districts with flexibility in meeting local needs during the pandemic, the Department is establishing a one-year pilot,” wrote Brian S. Cechnicki, the Director of Education and Finance for New York schools. This means Pelham’s few weather-related days off will be completely up to the district.  Dr. Champ, the town superintendent, is still unsure.   

¨We are definitely interested in the option that the state has given us to use full virtual instruction in lieu of snow days.  I’m not yet sure how practical it would be given that we would have to be sure all teachers and all students have power and internet at their homes and that is often a problem during winter storms in Westchester,¨ said Dr.Champ.

Beyond the availability of power and internet connectivity, another consideration is that the Pelham school district currently requires teachers to be present in school for remote teaching. So even if students could watch a remote lesson snugly and safely on what would have been a Snow Day, a blizzard makes travel to school dangerous and impractical for faculty who would be required to teach from the classroom.

As of now, snow days…like snow itself… are up in the air for Pelham students.  But the beloved, wintery tradition of days off due to dangerous forecasts may soon become a thing of the past.