Staff Editorial: Save our snow days


Photo by Maggie Fleming

TRADITION: Snow days are cherished by kids of all ages.

It’s the whispered hopes and predictions between siblings tucked into their bunk beds on dark January nights. It’s the giddy feeling in your stomach when you check the forecast every hour, praying for more snow. It’s the risky gamble you take when you decide to not do your math homework – but you can almost hear the snow falling outside, so maybe it’s not a risk at all. When you wake up the next morning to the snow-blanketed streets, you see the school-wide email proclaiming surrender to the icy conditions. Victory pounds in the hearts of schoolchildren everywhere: a snow day.

The snow day is an essential part of growing up, a day in which kids of all ages rejoice in the freedom from homework and stress and get the chance to relax. Now, more than ever, kids need the opportunity to disconnect from our technology-entrenched world and reconnect with the simplistic joy that comes from sledding with friends at 12:48 on a Thursday afternoon or forgetting about schoolwork to spend the day baking cookies with family. 

When we saw the email that students were to attend school remotely on Tuesday due to a winter storm warning, our hearts sank knowing that our new proficiency in remote learning could prompt a permanent end to snow days as we know it. We shudder to imagine a whole generation of kids growing up without experiencing the euphoria of a snow day.

The use of remote learning during snow days is done with the purpose of avoiding make-up school days at the end of the year. While this is important to do during a global pandemic because so many days of instruction have already been lost, during a normal school year, students should not have to attend school virtually on snow days.

After a year spent with eyes glued to Chromebook screens and Zoom haunting our nightmares, students need to feel a sense of normalcy when we will finally be able to resume full-time in-person classes. The pandemic has already taken so much from our fleeting childhood years – let’s not allow it to ruin a hallmark of attending school in the Midwestern winter.

Adults will point out that if we get rid of snow days, we won’t have to make up days at the end of the year and summer vacation will start sooner. While that may seem enticing, the reality is that we’re kids – we’re not trying to think ahead all the way to summer. All we care about right now is the sledding hill calling our names, regardless of whether the semester will end on May 24 or May 25.

Let’s be more like the Indiana school district that canceled school and told students that their assignment was to play outside and “practice the skills of estimation and measurement when throwing snowballs at one another.” Let’s promise to protect our snow days like this New Jersey school district that refused to get rid of snow days and let COVID-19 take away “chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow.”

There is nothing more pure or innocent than snow days. They are unpredictable gifts giving students the chance to ignore responsibility and enjoy the simplicity of childhood, completely unburdened. So let us have our snow days. We’ll take another sip of hot chocolate, make another snowman and a few more snow angels – we’ll ignore the setting sun and the blissful day might last forever.