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The Aquilian

The importance of maintaining snow days

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A photo of an empty Gonzaga Campus on a snow day. (Photo by Mr. Conrad Singh)

Only an insane person hates a snow day. After hearing the meteorologist say snow is imminent, students explode with happiness and excitement. Not only do we get to hang out in the snow, but we also get a day off of school. Having snowball fights with the neighbors, sledding down steep hills and creating the perfect snowman are the greatest gifts the winter season can offer. The feeling of gratitude felt after waking up to big snowflakes piling in the yard seemed ethereal on top of the relief from relinquishing our school duties for a day. The unpredictability of a snow day made it all the more special and cherishable. 

The main idea behind snow days involves keeping students safe and off the icy roads. However, COVID-19 caused many schools to hold all-virtual classes, meaning no real reason to call a snow day exists anymore. Snow days have been rendered obsolete because students do not have to commute to school. 

According to “No More Snow Days, Thanks to Remote Learning? Not Everyone Agrees” by Mark Lieberman, around 39% of schools around the country established snow days as remote learning days and 32% of schools are considering changing snow days into learning days. Many schools, Gonzaga included, made snow days a thing of the past; only one weather-related closure occurred this year, but three were virtual. 

In an age where the norm greatly differs from what it was a year ago, continuing any possible traditions should be priority. On top of losing interaction with friends, going to dances or graduating normally, students cannot relax and enjoy a snow day anymore. Snow days are far from a waste of time. Though not inherently made to be a mental health break, snow days may lower stress and cultivate productive school work. No bad can come from a snow day. 

A longer school year may result from snow days, but this relies on the possibility that too many snow days canceled school. Though rare for a school in the DMV to overcap its snow days, a  few extra days at the end of the year should not be a deterrent. 

Chilling in the snow remains as the finest activity in winter and striping students of that fundamental experience is harsh. I distinctly remember playing in the 2009 snowstorm from morning to evening every day, something kids today will not be able to experience.

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