An early morning phone call. Pulling up the shade to reveal curtains of snow. An extra couple of hours. A chance to catch up on homework. Losing snow days means losing all of the joys of winter.
Snow days are a seminal part of every kid’s childhood. However, with the introduction of online school, they seem to be growing obsolete; sledding, snowmen, and hot chocolate are replaced with early alarms, hours of screen time, and boredom.
Especially with the hybrid model of school, screens have become a ubiquitous presence since they are necessary for completing schoolwork. Thus, the loss of snow days, which have the potential to offer a respite from hours of computer-time, is particularly saddening. Snow days have long been filled with outdoor time—snowmen, sledding, and shoveling—all of which are COVID-friendly activities that allow for plenty of fresh air, something none of us are getting enough of these days, which could lead to a reduction of stress and a boost of endorphins.
Similarly, while it is always challenging to focus during Zoom classes on a normal day, it is nearly impossible to concentrate while it is snowing; after all, it is hard to watch a virtual classroom while majestic white flurries float past the windows. Therefore, it is unlikely that students are completing any serious academic work on these days, so it would be no great loss to cancel school for a snow day.
Furthermore, snow days are a good opportunity to reset and refocus for school. Right now, many students are finding it particularly difficult to not get discouraged and to maintain a focus on their schoolwork as the many tedious hours of Zoom leave them feeling drained. A snow day without any Zooms is a good chance for them to reset, relax, and return to classes more energized and focused, leading to enhanced performance.
There are some who argue that enough school has been missed due to the late start of the school year and the large chunk of school missed last year, but the small amount of school missed due to snow would be a small price to pay for its mental health benefits. This is an especially stressful time for many students and reclaiming the joy of waking up to a snowy morning could be a boon to improved academic performance.