If the snow doesn’t stop, why should snow days?

Staff+Writer+Riya+Mahanta+argues+that+by+having+to+learn+remotely+on+snow+days%2C+students+are+not+given+a+necessary+break+from+spending+time+on+screens.+

Caroline Raps

Staff Writer Riya Mahanta argues that by having to learn remotely on snow days, students are not given a necessary break from spending time on screens.

Riya Mahanta, Staff Writer

You know the amazing feeling of relief when your parents come into your room at 5 a.m. to tell you it’s a snow day? Sadly the joy of a snow day will never be a reality this year, no matter how much snow piles up. 

Unfortunately with Zoom and other applications similar to it, some school districts have eliminated the concept of snow days, claiming that you can just have a remote learning day when there is too much snow to get to school. This decision is totally wrong.

Snow days offer a much needed break to students, now more than ever with remote learning. It’s no secret that the remote/hybrid schedule has made this a difficult school year. According to a survey by the University of Colorado Boulder, 94% of students said that remote learning negatively impacted their learning environment. This new environment can lead to more stress and anxiety levels. And you know what can help with high levels of stress and anxiety? A snow day to take time to relax your mind from all your school work.

The possibility of a snow day can bring hope in even the darkest of times”

— Riya Mahanta

Plus, whenever it’s the day before or the day of a snow day, our teachers usually tell us to go outside and enjoy the snow, so how can we do that now if we have to log onto Zoom calls and do school work? It gets dark early during the winter here in New England, so if we have classes and homework to do, that leaves little time, if any at all, to go play in the snow. And, yes, even teenagers need to play in the snow sometimes. In addition, most kids our age have to shovel, and by the time they finish their Zooms and homework, it would be too dark and freezing. Really, what’s the point of New England’s many snowfalls if kids (and even adults…maybe our teachers want to play, too?) can’t get out and enjoy it?

Now, there is always the concern that having a snow day means missing a day of learning. But as Boston University professor Joshua Goodman writes in the article “In Defense of Snow Days,” “All students miss the exact same lesson, allowing the teacher to easily plan for ways to compensate.” I agree with this, as I don’t think it’s that difficult for a teacher to just postpone a lesson to the next day or so. In fact, some teachers may want a surprise day off, too.

The feeling of waking up to a bright room, with the snow visible from your window and drinking a nice hot cup of hot chocolate should not be disrupted by having to get your computer to log onto a Zoom call. We already spend too much time on our devices and computers right now due to the pandemic, so it’s good to take a break from them, relax and enjoy the snow.

Do you think there should be remote learning on snow days?

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Our school district needs to allow snow days to happen even in this era of Zoom. The possibility of a snow day can bring hope in even the darkest of times. An actual, magical snow day is a much-needed break for the students as well as staff and faculty. Superintendent Martineau and the School Committee should change their policy, allowing snow days to continue to exist. And if not, you can email your teachers asking them not to hold Zooms on days that should be snow days under normal circumstances. Some sort of normalcy is important to maintain during these unprecedented times.

I get that we will have to make up the days in the summer, but a couple days added to the end of the year are well worth the comfort and joy a snow day brings.