Are snow days a thing of the past?

Taken by Kristin Andrus

Taken by Kristin Andrus

Ben Laham, Staff Writer

Looking back on my last 13 years of being in public school, I realize that snow days actually caused a lot of absences during the winter months, especially considering  I live in New England. I remember waking up at 9 a.m. and looking out the window and seeing the backyard covered in snow and smiling because of my surprise day off. Even though the consequence of snow days ended up being extra days added onto the year in June, many students definitely thought they were worth it. 

However, 2020 brought about the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many schools and other institutions to shut down and remain closed, which brought about the implementation of online schooling programs. This  system bled from the end of the 2019 school year into the 2020 school year. The affected teachers and students have had ample time to acclimate to the new system, which inherently suggests that if there were a situation after schools reopened where there were a surprise occurrence and a school had to close for a day, an online system would be in place, so that distance learning could take place and the school would not lose a day.

Personally, I have no preference regarding snow days. Attending school for extra days in June or taking care of them in winter both yield the same result of 180 days. Furthermore, snow days have their pros and cons, a pro being that students receive a free day off, but a con being that eventually days get added on in the summer where it is much hotter. In my opinion, both of these cancel out, so my views don’t lead a particular way. 

To be frank, snow days are not the only thing to consider. Recent events have changed our understanding of safety and hygiene, and schools are some of the dirtiest places, specifically Danbury High School, being so large and having a rather limited janitorial staff. Considering this, many parents might want to continue to keep their students at home, not just for this current year, but permanently. Some schools have, or are going to, implement a program that allows students to learn from home even while hybrid learning is going on, but maintain their enrollment at their respective schools. Going forward, this could be pivotal in the way the future of learning plays out. Students would not have to be theoretically putting themselves at risk but would also not have to go through the trouble of homeschooling . 

Overall, however, online schooling throughout the public school system is still rather new and all the changes it will make are still very much unknown. However, looking at what it has done already and how it is very close to being face to face learning, it is very possible that things like snow could begin to be phased out.