News & Politics

It's Snowing in the East So Naturally Virtual School Is Canceled

Steven Washington, 9, dives faces first into a fresh pile of snow, taking a break from shoveling his grandmother's driveway after school was called off for a snow day Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, on Flint, Mich.'s north side. "I like to see when the snow falls," he said. "I love to play in it and make snow angels. It was so cool to get out of school today so I could just be outside around so much snow." (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

You silly person, you thought that since the kids were sitting at home, glued to their COVID Chromebooks for something like three hours a day that snow days would be a thing of the past.

In fact, we were assured in September by no less an authority than the thought leaders over at The New York Times that snow days – days off school, whee! – were a thing of the past because no one would have to make a perilously slippery step into a brick-and-mortar school. No school buses or their charges inside would be harmed in the making of the journey to school on snowy roads.

As the weather cools and winter looms, many school leaders in snow-prone states are preparing teachers, parents and students to say goodbye to snow days. This month, New York City, the nation’s largest school system, canceled them for the year, citing the pandemic, which has forced districts everywhere to look for ways to make up lost days.

New York’s decision followed moves that other administrators have been making since March, when schools were forced to transition to online learning and officials realized they could do the same during hazardous weather.

Boy, oh, boy, nothing gets past these people.

They realized it didn’t matter if it was snowing because the student avatars were still stuck at home staring at their COVID Chromebooks!

[In September], New York City, the nation’s largest school system, canceled [snow days] for the year, citing the pandemic, which has forced districts everywhere to look for ways to make up lost days.

[…] New York’s decision followed moves that other administrators have been making since March, when schools were forced to transition to online learning and officials realized they could do the same during hazardous weather.

Minnesota schools have been doing this for years.

This Catholic school is open for in-person learning and on Tuesday, the kids went outside for recess.

The kids made snow angels at another in-person, private Catholic school on Tuesday.

But as Joe Biden’s tale of the dark COVID winter foretold, there appears to be a turn in the minds of leaders in public schools around the nation’s capital and elsewhere.

Even though the Trump COVID vaccines are being delivered at warp speed to school teachers afraid of getting the disease from children or something (yes, I know the science says kids aren’t vectors but science-y teachers think they are and they run the schools), suddenly the current snow event in the East means … reduced school hours or no school at all.

Snow days are back, baby!

In Baltimore, the struggle is real during snow days.

In Boston, virtual school is in session, but the student avatars will be released two-and-a-half hours early because of snow. How many minutes of Zoom school does that pencil out to? Forty-five minutes?

This blue checkmark from The Washington Post wondered aloud on Twitter why school openings near D.C. were delayed because of snow.

Among all the awful things happening in the world right now, this doesn’t even rank Top One Billion, but… HOW DO YOU POSSIBLY JUSTIFY A TWO HOUR SNOW DELAY FOR VIRTUAL SCHOOL THAT IS ALREADY ONLY FOUR DAYS A WEEK?!

This makes too much sense. We’re sure she’ll get shouted down at any minute.

Elsewhere near the Beltway, near the fenced-in, yet oddly unsupervised seat of power, virtual public schools will be closed or have reduced hours due to snow.

NBC4 Washington reported that snow outside meant little to no learning inside.

Anne Arundel, Culpeper, Falls Church City, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William County and Spotsylvania schools will be closed Monday and all virtual classes are cancelled.

In November, Education Week reported that 39% of schools eliminated snow days, opting for virtual learning. That means 61% of them haven’t.

Thirty-nine percent of principals and district leaders say their district has converted snow days to remote learning days, and another 32 percent say their districts are considering the change, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey conducted earlier this month.

A New Jersey district announced it would keep snow days, even though kids were home on the COVID Chromebooks because, well, just because snow days are fun.

The Mahwah school district in New Jersey last month made a splash nationwide when it announced that it would continue to “close” school as usual this year during snow events, even if students are already at home due to COVID-19.

[…] “The history of snow days is steeped within our culture,” said Lisa Rizzo, the district’s director of special services.

In December, a West Virginia Superintendent was lauded by weepy, nostalgic adults for canceling school, telling the virtual school students  to go outside and play in the snow “in honor of the first snow day of the year.”

“Make a snowman!”

Come on, man! Educators have one job: educate the kids in their district. They’re not the fun-makers. Leave that to mom and dad.

Even the pandas at the National Zoo have to work during snow days. I inserted this here because it will be the most adorable video you’ll see all day.

Oh, and finally, Chicago schools are still out, but that’s only because teachers don’t want to go to work. It has nothing to do with the weather. This is because schools aren’t for students, silly, schools are for the benefit of the teachers who work in them.

Sure, snow days are fun. My uncle got us a five-man toboggan that we dragged to the local park to fly down the hills on snow days way back when. But kids can enjoy the snow after that whopping two-hour delayed, truncated school day on a COVID Chromebook.