Should snow days exist remotely this upcoming winter? (Counterpoint)

Should+snow+days+exist+remotely+this+upcoming+winter%3F+%28Counterpoint%29

Talya Pecullan, Staff Writer

Schreiber, along with the majority of schools, has embraced remote learning.  Now the question on everyone’s minds is if school will continue to close for snow days or if they will remain open remotely on those days.  New York City public schools have already made the announcement that there will be no snow days for this school year, and the Port Washington superintendent is expected to follow suit (although no announcement has actually been made yet).  Although a snow day is always a welcome break in the winter, it is clear that for this year, schools should continue to remain open remotely instead of giving students the day off. 

  The main reason why students should learn from home on snow days is that due to COVID-19 and complications with online learning, lots of valuable teaching time has already been lost.  Last March, when we were hit with this pandemic, life was thrown into complete disarray.  No one was ready for schools to close for the remainder of the school year, and teachers were never trained on how to teach online.  In addition, there was no protocol put into place for such an unprecedented event and the district scrambled to figure out a plan.  Everyone did the best they could for those months of quarantine, but the fact is that students did not learn much.  Regents, final exams, and major assessments were all canceled; therefore students were not tested on their retention of information from their classes.

As the new school year began, a plan was arranged for hybrid and fully remote learning, but this was still a new experience for everyone.  There was confusion along with connection issues that still make remote learning a challenge even today, a month and half into the school year.  Much time has been dedicated to making school function virtually as smoothly as possible, but we cannot ignore that there are still issues that must be worked out.  These complications continue to eat away at students’ learning time.  Technology issues can be controlled and fixed, but snow days are out of the school’s control.  With snow days, we can gain key learning time that has been lost. 

“We shouldn’t have snow days because we have been practicing live-streaming at home when the school has closed due to COVID-19 cases and it has worked.  Although a day-off would be nice, it feels like we’ve already lost enough learning time,” said junior Leah Schachter. 

Another perspective to consider is scheduling.  We already have a confusing new schedule in terms of which days to go in, combined with sudden closures of school due to COVID-19 cases in the district.  It is much easier for the students and teachers to continue with the schedule rather than skipping a day, leading to confusion about who goes into school the next day. 

 “A snow day could potentially throw off the scheduling of school and could cause widespread confusion,” said junior Olivia Platt. 

Another potential issue is that there may be days when it is absolutely necessary to cancel school.  For example, if we are hit with a storm like Isaias, the one we experienced this summer, and the power goes out, there would be no way to complete online school.  This would pose a problem to the school district for which “snow days” could be used.  In the case of a blizzard, Port Washington and the surrounding areas are more than likely to lose power, so students would likely get days off due to the weak power lines.

“I have already lost power over the summer and there could be many more times when this happens again, further delaying our education,” said junior Isabelle Kitay.  

We should save our snow days for more important scenarios like weak power lines or blackouts.  We should not waste a valuable day when we have the resources to take advantage of it.