Snow days should not be replaced with virtual learning days during in-person schooling

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Lily Stickley, Feature Editor

It’s time to go to sleep, having done all the typical snow day rituals, having flushed an ice cube down the toilet, wearing pajamas inside out and backwards, a spoon under the pillow, a potato on the alarm clock and a white crayon in the freezer. You’re hopeful to have a snowday! But you wake up the next morning and you still have to go to your virtual class. 

Schools around the country are planning on making all snow days, when in-person instruction resumes, a virtual learning day. KPS has not published a decision about the future of snow days in these circumstances. 

Snowdays are an important part of life. Students who are not able to get transportation to school because of the snow would still be able to attend school virtually. However, when there are snow days, there tend to be some problems. Sometimes the reason why school is closed on snow days is not just because of the snow but because of the problems the snow has caused, such as power outages, very cold temperatures and snow-covered roads and side-walks. 

When people lose power they are unable to show-up to the virtual learning and are likely going to fall behind because of that. Students do not want to miss or fall behind in class, virtually or in-person, as it makes it very difficult to catch up and understand what is being discussed. 

If the student had lost power and the school district did a virtual learning day, the following day the student has to return to in-person school without having power restored to their house, they will not have been able to watch the videos that are posted from virtual class, and will have fallen behind. 

“Snow days can make kids’ internet go out and make them not available for school. This would be unfair to those kids and put them behind,” said junior Elizabeth Helms. 

As well as students losing power, teachers can also lose power, which makes it so they are unable to teach the class virtually. This could cause problems for the teachers if they are unable to teach.

Along with the fact it could cause problems with students falling behind, snow days are just overall a good day for students. Thirty-eight Loy Norrix students and staff members out of 45 believe that when students go back to in-person learning that they should not have to attend school virtually on snow days. 

Many students and teachers are productive on those days out of school due to snow. Some people love to cook and bake during snow days. Others like the ability to clean their house. A lot of students will take the time to catch up on homework and classwork that they are behind on. 

Since I was younger, I have shovelled driveways for people in my neighborhood, which sometimes I would get paid to do, for some students, shoveling driveways is an excellent way to get out and earn some money. As well it is a way students are able to go outside and relax. Younger students like elementary school aged children love the ability to go outside and play, to make a snowman, have a snowball fight, and go sledding. Children love to play, especially with their siblings. On snow days students are able to go and do outdoor winter sports, like skiing, snowboarding, ice skating. If  students are attending school virtually, they will not be able to play with their siblings or friends and will instead be stuck sitting in front of a computer screen for hours.

Some people do not use the snowdays as something productive, but they will use it for a day to relax by catching up on sleep or watching TV or movies. Others use snow days as a day to take care of their mental health, using a snow day as a day for doing nothing but destressing and doing something for them.

All schools have a limit on the number of snow days they can have per school year which makes sense as too many snow days can cause students to fall behind. KPS has five snow days built into each school year. 

As sophomore Anna Edlefson suggested,  “I’ve had snow days ever since I was little, and they’ve always been enjoyed. I think that we should still have a cap on how many snow days we can have per year, and if we go over that number we can do virtual school instead of adding snow days on to the end of the year.” 

This is a great suggestion as it allows students to be kids and still get out and go play, or to do things around the house. This also prevents  students and teachers from falling behind in their work. 

Some school districts are still planning on having snow days. In the article “Mahwah schools say ‘yes’ to snow days, bringing joy in a time of steady bad news” from the northjersey.com, the district’s superintendent wrote, “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. 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.” 

It is important for students to be allowed to just be kids. Snow days allow students and teachers to relax and take a break for a day. Snow days should be allowed to continue to happen. Students should be allowed to just be kids. So go out there and build a snowman, make a snow angel, drink some hot chocolate, but most importantly have some fun.