The Death of the Snow Day

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When I was little, a snow day was like a totally unexpected gift from the gods of childhood. I lived in Virginia, so half the time school got cancelled there was only a minor dusting, certainly not enough to spend the day sledding or crafting the perfect snowman. But who needs snow when you’ve got an unexpected day off school? Without plans or goals, my brothers and I would just laze about and do whatever kids do when they’ve got unscheduled free time. (Probably make up weird stories and act them out with action figures, if I remember correctly.)

But thanks to technology that allows teachers to keep up with students even when school isn’t technically in session, that kind of snow day is increasingly a thing of the past.

According to the Baltimore Sun, schools are starting to be creative with technology during these unexpected breaks. One private school was in session, virtually, on Monday; it had already gone over its annual allotment of inclement weather days, so the kids were expected to show up to the school’s educational platform. (The principal reported that students were “not very happy” with the arrangement. Duh.) Other teachers upload lectures and reading assignments to virtual classrooms, and expect students to be familiar with the material when they return after the mini-break.

There’s something sad about the idea of high schoolers toiling at the computer when they could be out throwing snowballs at their little brothers. Which is why it’s nice to read that at least one teacher occasionally gives the best kind of snowday assignment: “My homework sometimes has been to go sledding or shovel the neighbor’s driveway,” said Catonsville High School government/economics teacher Graham Long.

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