No, We Should Not Get Rid of Snow Days This Year

By Jessie Wang (IV), Contributing Writer

Students and teachers alike widely enjoy snow days as temporary pauses on everyday troubles, and they have become more imperative than ever with the pandemic. Although online learning means that students no longer need to commute to school, there are still technological problems that present themselves in this virtual learning format, especially during severe weather conditions.

If we abolish snow days, the issue of a steady internet connection immediately emerges. Virtual learning depends entirely on a stable internet connection and a functioning electronic device. Often, during days of excessive snowfall, power outages and other complications might occur.

These difficulties make students and teachers feel disconnected from their classes and are detrimental to students’ learning. According to the Boston Herald, at one point during the winter of 2019 “over 200,000 homes across Massachusetts [were] without power after a late night storm with high winds knocked down power lines and trees.”

Those who have lost electricity or heat or had any property damages should not have to worry about joining a Zoom meeting for school. Even if they can join, they will most likely not be paying close attention to the lesson with such distractions. By keeping snow days, the school district ensures everyone has a day off during dangerous storms, so no one is forced to catch up on schoolwork or get punished for being tardy or absent in extenuating circumstances.

The brief hiatus also serves as a well-deserved mental health break for everyone involved. Both students and teachers are still struggling to adjust to Zoom classes; many reported an increase in fatigue, stress and procrastination of work because of the isolation, endless sitting and confinement.

“This year, everything is very internal. You have to be able to motivate yourself in order to get the work done […] You’re not getting that encouragement from the B[oston] L[atin] S[chool] atmosphere,” Ruth Shiferaw (I) says. A few days off here and there would allow the students and teachers to catch up on their work and sleep and help them focus better.

Furthermore, winter break this year has been shortened to only around a week and a half, from December 24 to January 4, instead of the usual two weeks, meaning that students and teachers will have less time off to relax and reset. Keeping snow days would help compensate for this.

Maya Nelson (III) has created a petition to keep snow days in the Boston Public Schools schedule, which over 600 people have already signed as of December 20. She reaffirms that “snow days are important to the mental health of both students and teachers. If you have the occasional break, then you can come back to school more prepared.”

Though students no longer have to worry about commuting to school after a snowstorm, there are still many issues to worry about when the annual Nor’easters hit. Not only will snow days eliminate some of the troublesome complications of heavy snowfall for online classes, they will also serve as a highly beneficial break for students and teachers.