When the pandemic hit in 2020, schools scrambled to adapt to virtual learning in order to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 while keeping kids on track. And in the past two and a half years, students, teachers, and parents have all gotten pretty used to the concept of virtual learning — with many of the tools, programs, and lesson plans staying in place even after kids have returned to the classroom.
Unfortunately for the kids of New York City, all of these new virtual learning tools mean no more snow days.
Speaking with FOX affiliate WNYW , New York City's Department of Education chancellor, David C. Banks, broke the bad news that New York City public school students should expect kids to log-on from home through virtual learning when weather conditions make it unsafe to travel to school.
"So, sorry kids — no more snow days, but it's going to be good for you!" he told the outlet.
Before online learning and the COVID-19 pandemic, students would traditionally get the day off from school if weather conditions called for the community to stay home due, but now, with the ability to learn from home, there seems to be no point to call off the whole day.
"With the new technology that we have — that's one of the good things that came out of COVID — if a snow day comes around, we want to make sure that our kids continue to learn," Banks told WNYW.
While the news is an obvious bummer for students, parents are also feeling a bit of sadness over the news. Snow days have been a legendary rite of passage for any kid growing up in areas where snow falls. The fact that NYC schools have declared them a thing of the past is a bit on the sad side. Instead of building snowmen and running inside for hot chocolate when your toes froze, kids will not be in front of a computer screen, learning that day’s curriculum.
People didn’t hold back on their feelings over the ending of snow days. One tweeted, “I used to be glued to the tv watching the school names scroll by praying mine would come up. NYC sucking the joy out of one childhood perk!”
Another noted that snow days are more than just a day for kids to goof off, but rather recharge and use the time as a mental health day. “Bad decision. Snow days are also mental health days for most kids. Understandable in light of covid losses because kids lost reading/math abilities, parents have to work, but 2 snow days wouldn't harm majority of NYC Public schoolers,” they wrote.
Whether kids are in virtual school or have a traditional snow day free of work, it means that most working parents need to either stay home for the day or find a childcare solution.
Whether you’re on the side of the school district or the parents who believe snow days are a kid’s right, it will be interesting to see if other major cities begin to follow the trend and also use virtual learning as an alternative instead of taking the day off for a snowball fight.