Thankfully snow days continue in Port Washington

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Maxwell Meehan, Contributing Writer

Many people have fond memories of going sledding, drinking hot chocolate, and gazing at the picturesque snow outside  the window on snowy mornings.  The excitement and joy of a snow day is a meaningful experience that all students deserve.  

On Dec. 17, Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes announced that due to the Nor’Easter, the Port Washington School District would have a traditional snow day.  Although it would have been technologically feasible to incorporate virtual learning despite the weather, Dr. Hynes decided that students needed to have a break.

“I do believe in snow days and always will.  Take the time to spend it with one another, play outside, read a book,” said Hynes.

Whether or not to have traditional snow days, especially with virtual learning technology, has been controversial.  Contrary to Dr. Hynes’ decision, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to have a virtual school day.  De Blasio stated that snow days are now a “thing of the past and that moving forward, all snow days will be days of virtual learning. 

In explaining his  decision, de Blasio cited the “catching up” students need to do.  However, this “catching up” would not have been necessary if New York City schools had not delayed their reopening by more than a month.  

To understand the true value of snow days, one must examine the additional  benefits provided by attending school.  Although school is focused on academics, social and emotional connections are also important aspects.  COVID-19 has upended those connections in many ways by adding more stress and limiting ocial interaction.  In a normal year, a snow day allows students to relieve their stress and enjoy the day.  This year, having a snow day allowed students to leave their computers and reminisce about their childhood.

“It was a well-needed break from all the stress brought on by the hybrid learning,” said junior Jacob Ritholz.

In recent years, there have been fewer snow days.  For example, last winter there was 3.8 inches of snow in December, 2.7 inches in January, and no snow in February on Long Island.  Many of the prior winters  had below average snow falls, resulting in few or no snow days.  In the future, snowstorms like the recent one may become increasingly uncommon; now more than ever, it is  important to let students enjoy something that is less and less frequent.

“The snow day helped students and teachers to not have to worry about everything working on a full remote day.  It was a nice opportunity to relax and destress,” said junior Onome Igbide.

Although virtual learning technology allows school districts to avoid having to cancel school because of snow, snow days should remain to give students breaks and for the joy that they can offer.