Save the Snow Day!
Even with the ability for remote working and learning we all still need a snow day every once in a while.
It was the best part of being a kid. You fall asleep with anticipation and wake up to a white blanket of snow. For some of the lucky ones (thanks Mom) a parent would sneak in, turn the alarm off and quietly whisper to sleep in because school was canceled. What followed was a day devoid of responsibility to be spent as one chose - sledding, sleeping, skating or just watching TV. All day long.
Unfortunately, the rise of remote learning threatens to drive the snow day into extinction. The pandemic has forced us to be flexible and taught us how to operate remotely. With remote learning canceling school isn’t necessary when you can just as easily have students and teachers work from home.
But where is the fun in that?
The fact is we all need a snow day once in a while. Kids, teachers and even adults (who often take advantage of snow days to play hooky as well.)
And hopefully all school Superintendents agree that just because you can skip snow days, doesn’t mean you should.
Sure, it would be less disruptive to switch to remote. And yes, less snow days would make the school calendar more predictable, preserving vacation days and providing more certainty around end of the year planning.
With so much of life regimented and structured, snow days offer the ultimate reprieve and unbridled joy. I mean, without snow days, we might as well all move to Florida.
Yet, it seems 2020, among countless other negatives, was also going to be remembered as the year the snow day died.
Fortunately, the superintendent of my town in Connecticut had other ideas.
Yesterday he stepped in to save the snow day. A champion of snowmen everywhere.
"I may be a purist," Tom Scarice, Superintendent of Westport Public Schools wrote, "but I do believe that for most children, the experience of a snow day can be an unforgettable part of childhood and a unique opportunity for unstructured play."
For this reason, he added, the district would allow for up to three snow days this winter! Additional days would turn into remote learning days. Smartly, there will not be two snow days allowed in a row. The second day will be a remote learning day. (As the saying goes, too much dessert can make you sick.)
I hope other school districts take a page out of his book and follow suit. Everyone deserves a snow day once in a while, and tumultuous 2020 is no exception.
While we search for certainty in uncertain times it is still okay to wish for a little unpredictability and a few good surprises.
We are all aching to return to predictably but please leave us the uncertainty and indulgence of snow days.