The Magic of Snow Days Replaced by Remote Learning


Wendy Schiffman Wilsker

Now senior Sam Schiffman and his older brother Will enjoy a snow day from many years ago.

Sam Schiffman '21, Sports Lead Editor

Remember this scenario when you were in elementary school and you would go to sleep knowing you would wake up to a few inches of snow on the ground. The anticipation of a possible snow day kept you up all night thinking about the different activities you would participate in–such as sledding and making snowmen. All of us can also relate to constantly checking the snow day calculator throughout the day and night hoping it would give us a high percentage of a day out of school. Sadly, the magic of snow days no longer exist.

Our recent adaption to the pandemic has caused remote learning to be easily accessible, and even normal. This adaption means that snow days are a thing of the past. Any time in-person learning is not available, we can just fire up Zoom and learn virtually. There will no longer be the excitement of watching the news and waiting to see your district appear on the closed list. While some district adminstrators, educators, parents, and communities across the northeast have claimed that the absence of snow days is beneficial, I would argue that it is counterproductive and cruel to take away these snows days from students of all ages.

With a big snowstorm hitting tomorrow, Westborough School District plans to have a remote learning day, with the same schedule that students followed during the two week period after Thanksgiving. So what does this mean for kids throughout the district? Instead of going outside and playing in the snow, they will be stuck inside glued to their screens from the time they wake up and log onto their first class at 8 a.m. and be on until after 2 p.m. This will only leave a couple of hours to enjoy the snow outside before it gets dark. As a high schooler, the absence of snow days is obviously frustrating, but I can’t imagine what it is like to be an elementary student missing out on some of the most fun days of making childhood winter memories.

Not only are snow days disappearing this year, but thinking long term, the question that is on many students’ minds is: if this new era of remote learning, will eliminate snow days for good? From an administrative standpoint, there is no need for snow days in the future if students and faculty can just fire up the old Zoom and learn from home, even in a post-pandemic world.

Though alternative learning days are not something new, asking students to attend zoom classes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is a lot more time-consuming than asking kids to complete a few assignments for classes, at any time during the day. This past ALD format gave students time to complete their schoolwork, while also being able to help their families shovel and plow, and of course, enjoy all the activities they have come to love during snow days.

With a large snowstorm coming, students will most likely have to follow the zoom schedule, which most students are not fond of. And while I understand that as students we should be engaging in our subjects even when it is not possible to attend school, I believe it is dreadful to rob students of all ages, of something that used to be so magical and a symbol of winter spirit across the northeast. I urge the administrators, educators, parents, and communities to reconsider and really think about the joy that they are taking away from young students, who may not experience another snow day again if the current course continues.