Why I’m Angry School Canceled Online Learning For a ‘Snow Day’
In September many school districts across the Hudson Valley announced the end of snow days. So what happened?
With students and teachers connecting online for much of the week, many school districts across the Hudson Valley revealed a plan to eliminate snow days. Teachers and students who were scheduled to come in on days with inclement weather would just stay home and have a remote learning day. Makes sense, right?
Earlier this week, our family received a letter from the Wappingers Central School District saying that because of "a great deal of feedback" and their own reflection on the policy, they decided to go back on that plan and give teachers and students the day off during snowstorms.
I'm unsure what the objections were to home learning, but I'm assuming many parents thought it was sad to take away the joy of having the day off during a snowstorm. But let's be honest; kids have been living one giant snow day since March.
As a parent of a nine-year-old, I know that there's a lot of learning that going on during virtual days. Teachers have done a great job adapting to a new way of teaching and engaging students from their homes. With that said, it's certainly not the same as going to school.
Even with a full day of remote school, kids still have a significant amount of "downtime." With long stretches between having to log in to different subjects, independent work time, and an extended lunch and "recess" that could last for hours, no kid is going to miss out on having tons of fun in the snow if they want. Plus, with virtual school ending soon after lunch, there's no long bus ride home, so kids can just run right outside and have hours to play before dinner.
With that said, let's be real. Kids are not spending the whole day outside in the snow anyway. Perhaps today kids will spend an hour or two sledding or engage in a snowball fight. Maybe they'll even make a snowman. But you can also bet that there will be just as much time, if not more, dedicated to video games, YouTube or their tablet. As a parent, I'd honestly rather have my son at least learning something during that screen time.
Of course, this is just my opinion. And by the number of other school districts who have now decided to cancel all remote learning today, it looks like I'm in the minority. I just have one simple request of those parents who decided to send their "feedback" about virtual learning on snow days; For fun, keep track of just how much time your son or daughter spends in front of a screen today. Perhaps you may just change your mind about how important having the whole day off really is.