No To Snow (Days)?


Photo Courtesy of Noodle

Lauren Violette

Timberlane has had “Blizzard Bags” for over five years now… but there has been a long-standing tradition of ensuring the first storm is a traditional snow day. With the rise of online learning, kids are expected to be in Zoom in spite of the hazardous conditions outside. Schools across the state alternated between canceling classes altogether or sticking to the schedule from home. Is it time to protest, or are snow days things of the past?

For some students, attending virtual classes on snowy days isn’t an option. Many kids need to help shovel, watch younger siblings, or work. One student remarked that “I need snow days because I’m expected to help shovel, something I can’t do while paying attention to zoom.” Can kids really be expected to attend class in spite of their familial responsibilities? Should they be punished with an unexcused absence? 

Another key factor that must be considered: Accessibility. In many of the more suburban areas of the Timberlane District, snow almost always means a power outage. 

An overwhelming majority, ninety-four percent of Timberlane students surveyed, voted in support of maintaining traditional snow days. The most commonly sourced reason? Mental health days. One student piped into the conversation commenting, “School remotely can still be very stressful mentally and physically. We should [reinstate snow days] because we all need a break every once in a while.” Snow days are a thing of tradition, they allow a temporary and unexpected reprieve from the stress of school, which may be more important than ever. In this new world of pandemic teaching stress, anxiety, and loneliness are what 2020 high school graduates considered their greatest challenge for this 2020-2021 school year according to a survey by the Strada Education Network.

The students weigh in. Lexi Wagnitz, Timberlane Junior, says “Despite this year being considered ‘easier’ academically, it is exponentially more difficult in a mental and emotional sense. We still need those little breaks that a snow day provides!” Timberlane Senior, Emily Bone, writes “Teachers and students deserve a break! Everyone has been working so hard and needs that time for themselves. It’s especially hard when teachers have kids of their own who are having traditional show days. They are unable to manage a virtual classroom and their young kids so they just cancel the zoom.” “Reinstating traditional snow days would bring back a feeling of normalcy and fun to our not-so-normal lives.”, wrote an anonymous Timberlane junior. 

Those in favor of the school’s decision to cancel school days in favor of online classes argue that it’s good for “staying on track with the curriculum” and block day scheduling. Is that enough?

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