The rigors of online teaching seem to make snow days – when schools cancel lessons due to inclement weather – unnecessary. If the kids are home for school, why take a day off?
Officials at the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union in Bennington have told parents that « all school cancellations due to inclement weather or COVID-19 will be treated equally for protocol, » school district spokeswoman Katie West said in an E. -Mail to the Washington Times.
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« The aim was to make sure that the students learn as much as possible, » said Dr. . Said West.
School districts across the country, from ski villages in the Rockies to boroughs in New York City, are weighing the pros and cons of weather-related shutdowns this winter. Some school administrators have noticed the mental relief a snowy day can provide for students and teachers alike.
In Mahwah Township, New Jersey, at the foot of the Ramapo Mountains and next to various ski resorts in New York State, school district officials stick to snow days and cite stability for children.
« We are aware that our expertise in virtual teaching has advanced over the past year, » said the Interim Mahwah Township Public School
said Superintendent Leonard Fitts in an email to the parents. “We have decided that few childhood actions will remain unchanged due to COVID-19, and we will keep the children’s hope by naming actual snow days due to the bad weather. ”
School officials in cities from Minneapolis to St. . Louis to New York City has said that if bad weather occurs, students will stay home for online classes.
« As we reopen schools for this critical school year, we are using all of the distance learning lessons this spring to maximize class time for our students, » Nathaniel Styer, spokesman for the New York Department of Education, said in a statement earlier this fall. “This includes providing distance learning on both election day and snow days. ”
In snowy Massachusetts, the state education czar says that each district will decide whether or not to hold on to snowy days.
In Teton County, Wyoming, where the snow falls heavily but school is rarely canceled, Head Girl Charlotte Reynold told The Times: “We plan to use virtual platforms to avoid the start of a school day in this year is actually canceled or delayed. ”
A recent survey conducted by the Ed Week Research Center found that nearly 2 in 5 school principals and administrators have chosen to keep children in seats and on laptops instead of allowing them to go sledding this winter, too, snowmen build and throw snowballs.
In October, Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes estimated a learning loss for students in nearly two dozen states between 57 and 183 days in reading and between 136 and 232 days in math.
Following a snowstorm on Colorado’s east coast in October, four suburban school districts canceled classes instead of a snow day, with the exception of Denver Public Schools, where students studied at home.
« A day or a week after a while that adds up, » Denver Public Schools spokeswoman Winna Maclaren told 9News in Denver. “We want to be able to support our children with everything we can do to minimize the learning loss. ”
Other schools are still making decisions. A snow dust in Lexington, Kentucky did not prevent children from studying on Monday. Even so, a Head Boy told The Times that the district was « in the process of » determining its winter protocol.
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