Virtual Snow Days Give the Best of Both Worlds


For the past two days, high schools in RSD have had virtual half-days due to inclement weather.

Waking up this morning, I was prepared to shovel snow out of my driveway and wait 15 minutes for my car windows to defrost before making the trip to get school at 7:18 a.m. in time for zero hour.

As were many other students and faculty, I was relieved to get the email announcing that today would be the second snow day in a row for the week. I could finally take a deep breath after drowning in work from my seven classes and take some time to catch up on sleep or work for classes.

Previously, RSD administrators decided snow days would be online and reduced to a half day schedule due to not having enough hours to meet Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements if students missed full days due to inclement weather. 

But this atypical plan for inclement weather has sparked negative reactions from parents, teachers and students alike, who don’t like the virtual half-day option.

While some dislike having to continue to do schoolwork on a snow day or the idea of having class with a limited amount of time to get through content, these snow days are a nice balance between having a day off and spending seven hours straight hammering information into our brains. 

I get to have a break in the morning and rest up so that I can learn efficiently for the time that we do have in class. Even though each class is only 30 minutes, my teachers try to make the most of that time and get through as much as possible, which is great because then I’m not having to go days without a class while in the middle of a unit. 

Anything we don’t get to or that was scheduled to be due for the day becomes asynchronous work, which is more beneficial than in the past when lessons would be pushed to the next class and the entire class would get behind schedule. 

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Now, students and teachers won’t necessarily have to stress about making up for the lost time of snow days because of widespread technological capabilities. Teachers can send their students the material for the day so that they don’t get behind, go over the important items in class and answer questions as a group for the half-day spent  together.

I missed zero hour today in addition to my normal block period, a total of about two and a half hours, which in a normal year we would just miss. With the virtual abilities we have now, my teacher was able to film the lecture we were supposed to have and send it out for us to do on our own time, so that we can continue where we left off once we get back to school again.

Given a situation that was meant to throw teachers and students for a loop, the virtual snow days have provided a solution. Instead of spending a day doing nothing, only to return to school with an overwhelming amount of things to do, virtual snow days allow students to schedule when to do their work at times that work best for them, increasing the efficiency of their school days.