By Aaron Wang, Staff Reporter Snow days are officially an endangered species. On Oct. 1, 2021, the school board announced that it would be implementing a new emergency closing day plan for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. The plan leaves room for just one traditional snow day per school year; all other snow days...
By Aaron Wang, Staff Reporter
Snow days are officially an endangered species.
On Oct. 1, 2021, the school board announced that it would be implementing a new emergency closing day plan for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. The plan leaves room for just one traditional snow day per school year; all other snow days will become distance learning days during which students will complete asynchronous work and meet with teachers on Microsoft Teams for shortened periods. Conestoga principal Amy Meisinger hopes that the plan will improve students’ learning experience.
“When we had snow days, we generally had to add days of school on (to the end of the school year), so by being able to take advantage of virtual instruction, we can be more certain when the end of school happens (Jun. 15 at the latest),” Meisinger said. “Because last year we had hybrid and virtual instruction, we felt confident moving forward in knowing that we could deliver a solid program.”
The transition from snow days to learning from home satisfied not only the school board, but many teachers as well. English teacher Megan Doyle supports the plan; she believes that it may facilitate the planning and teaching of her curriculum.
“It makes planning easier,” Doyle said. “We have had much more volatile weather systems in the past few years, so to be able to know that this plan will be minimally disruptive if we do have weather situations (is) a good thing.”
Although the plan benefits many teachers in some ways, it also creates obstructions to learning. Doyle, while happy with many aspects of the plan, worries about some of challenges it brings.
“This area specifically seems to lose power a lot,” Doyle said. “So if we’re reliant on technology for this plan, it might be difficult to make sure everyone has access to that technology.”
When students could still count on having traditional snow days, many cherished the rare opportunities to relax and alleviate the stress of studying. Others saw them as make-up days at the end of the year. As a result, when the school board announced the plan, students had mixed feelings. Junior Michael Levin likes the plan and hopes that it will benefit him and his summer plans.
“It’s good that we kind of don’t have snow days anymore because they would tack on at the end of the year,” Levin said. “It would benefit me because at the end of the year, I wouldn’t have to worry about tacked on days that would interfere with holidays or would interfere with family plans that I would have over the summer.”
Conversely, many students reminisce on times past and are reluctant to see snow days disappear. Sophomore Daphne Chen feels that the elimination of snow days is unfortunate because it takes away a special event that she would highly anticipate every winter.
“It (snow days) used to be that day (that) everyone was looking forward to; where they could wind down and not have to worry about work or anything,” Chen said.
As they cope with the impacts of the changes, many students endeavor to recall past snow day memories while progressing towards the future.
“(A snow day) is not as impactful as big events that the school might hold, but (it’s one of) the small things that you look back on,” Chen said. “It is like ‘Wow, we’ve really gone so far.’”
Aaron Wang can be reached at [email protected]
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