It’s that time of the year again. It’s winter, or as teachers and students think of it, snow-day season. When the weather outside is frightful, teachers and students alike gather around the TV to look at the ticker on the bottom of their choice of newscast. Of course, the hope is to see the name of their school scroll across the bottom, so they get a much-needed day off.
Though snow-day watch is essentially an American past time for teachers and students at this point, there are other people who don’t see it the same way. There are considerations that districts have to consider when bending to the will of nature.
Snow days are a problem for parents.
When the snow day ticker is scrolling across the bottom of the newscast parents, unlike students and teachers, are hoping not to see their children’s school’s name pop up because it means they have to make arrangements for childcare. This means finding a sitter which is no easy task on short notice and in inclement weather, particularly when everyone else in the district needs one, or they have to watch their children themselves. Some parents may be able to bring children to work but some will inevitably be forced to take off. This is especially hard for single parents.
Snow days can mean lost meals for students.
Over 30 million students depend on free lunch or breakfast from school. When school is out or canceled, many of them have nowhere to turn to replace those lost meals. Even on 2-hour delay days, many students are still likely to miss breakfast. Some districts do make arrangements to remain open for meals but without school buses to transport students, it is an imperfect stopgap.
Teachers and students may have to make the days up
Snow-days are not free vacation days. There is a certain amount of days that students are required to attend school. Most districts don’t have a lot of buffer days built-in, meaning that a snow-day in the winter means an added day in the summer.
Snow days can be fun here and there, but people would be wise to remember that snow-days are not just about missing academic work and impromptu snowball fights.