No More Snow Days For NYC Kids

New York City is removing snow days from the calendar in a move that has made many parents and children upset.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Snow days despised (or secretly treasured) by school officials and teachers, and beloved by students are disappearing. Across the nation, schools have long accounted for extra days in the school year that might have to be canceled due to inclement weather. But thanks to the prevalence and availability of virtual learning that persevered throughout the pandemic, many districts are doing away with these longstanding days. Recently, the county’s largest school district joined that movement, and kids living in the Big Apple will no longer be allotted these freebie days of relaxation, laziness, and play.

New York City is known for its snowmageddon dubbed blizzard weather during the winter months which often leads to snow days. But this year, no matter how severe the weather gets, students will have to attend class – while in the comfort of their homes. Public school students will be required to attend school remotely on days that the weather is too bad to travel to school, according to a report from Fox News.

The district is hopeful that this move will alleviate the stress school administration faces when attempting to make sure schoolchildren meet the state’s minimum requirement for school days. In New York, schools must offer 180 days of instruction. In the past, severe weather could disrupt this requirement, which often left schools scrambling to add additional learning days at the end of the academic year to make up for snow days. 

While years ago, the ability to eliminate snow days altogether would have been near impossible, virtual learning has made it quite easy today. The nation’s largest school district quickly shifted to online learning as the pandemic first wreaked havoc on schools in 2020. The Department of Education distributed laptops and tablets to students for online learning. Likewise, they hooked families without internet up with free wifi. 

Considering the magnitude of pulling this off for a district totaling nearly one million children, the measure was pulled off quite successfully, with little hiccups considering the whole magnitude of the effort. Further depicting how easy it will be for the school to shift remotely for snow days, NYC saw such success with online learning, that they are offering two schools that will educate public school students in a completely virtual manner. 

While NYC officials are hailing the decision to eliminate a need for snow days, the decision was met with anger by others for various reasons. Across Twitter, users upset with the decision expressed their feelings on the matter. One user called the decision a “sin.” Another pointed out the mental health benefits that children benefit from during these off days. 

Others added their disdain for the removal of snow days with their distaste for online learning, calling it “trash.” While some families enjoyed having the opportunity for their children to learn from home virtually, others loathed it and felt it held their children back. Many reports link online learning to learning loss, especially for students of color.

Not everyone agrees with the move, but overall, the decision to remove snow days from NYC will have little effect on learning. While it is unknown how many of these inclement weather days the district allotted in the past, most schools only allow for a handful of these canceled days. So in just a few months, as the first big blizzard hits the City that never sleeps, children will no longer be able to go to bed dreaming of snow days and instead face waking up to the possibility of attending school in their pajamas.