With many public schools closed down to stop the spread of the coronavirus, children and their parents are mourning not only the loss of in-person education experiences, but also the loss of so many precious and memorable experiences like school festivals, sporting events, dances and music and theater performances.
But some school districts are committed to making their students’ at-home learning experiences as authentic to a real school year as possible. That’s why many school boards are reaching out to assure kids that even though schooling may be virtual right now, the teachers and staff will still honor one time-honored tradition: snow days.
“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,” the Mahwah Township Public Schools said in a public statement. “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.”
The message from this New Jersey school board went viral when parents and community members posted the public declaration on their social media page, with many people heartily congratulating the decision and saying that it’s good to see that at least some parts of childhood are remaining undisturbed.
Weather guru Ben Noll posted the message on his Facebook where thousands of people liked the post, with parents and teachers alike posting their support.
One teacher commented, “I told my students if our school ever decides to do remote snow days their assignment will be to take a picture of themselves having fun in the snow!!!”
While one parent commented on the importance of protecting and supporting kids’ emotional well-being, saying, “Kids still need a snow day….a mental health day to do just that…play in the snow!”
Many other school districts have also come forward and said they will still honor the concept of snow days, even if virtual learning may make the idea seem redundant.
“If we indeed have a snow emergency I intend to have a traditional snow day. I believe that so much has been taken from our children,” Vermont’s Cambridge Central district superintendent Douglas Silvernell said at a board meeting, according to the Bennington Banner. “I think this simple thing will help maintain some normalcy for our children.”
Other school districts voted down the possibility of snow days, saying they instead should be used as remote learning days. In Salem, Massachusetts, the school board did just that.
“Seven members just ruined our Salem Public Schools snow days,” said committee chairperson and mayor Kim Driscoll when revealing the outcome of the vote, according to the Salem News.
Is your school district still honoring the possibility of snow days? Do you think kids should still get snow days even if they’re virtual learning?