Education

With remote learning, will kids ever have a snow day again?

Posted January 27, 2021 2:22 p.m. EST
Updated January 28, 2021 11:35 a.m. EST

Will kids ever have another 'snow day' again?

— So, what does the term "snow day" mean in the age of virtual learning?

Will kids in 2021 know what it means to have school canceled and spend the whole day playing in the snow?

School districts are trying to find some middle ground where students have some work, but still get to enjoy snow.

With snow in the forecast, multiple school systems have canceled in-person activities and meal delivery services for Thursday. However, with remote classes available, school isn't canceled – it's just virtual.

To help allow kids to enjoy their snow day and get some time outside, Wake County and Johnston County have announced an 'asynchronous learning day.'

"There is no live instruction on asynchronous learning days. Teachers will communicate assignments to students to complete on their own," says the WCPSS website.

Will kids still get to enjoy playing in the snow?

Ella Clarke, a teacher and parent, says she believes snow days are sacred and should be preserved.

"I would be so sad if snow days were a thing of the past," she said.

Sometimes virtual learning has to take a backseat to letting kids play and get their energy out.

Education consultant Lyn Hawks suggested a snow day compromise: Teachers give a few light assignments, but no structured classes.

"An English teacher could have students go out, catch a snowflake on your tongue. Do a little journal writing about that," she said.

Hawks said even teachers need a snow day sometimes.

"Coming from a teacher perspective, I would say teachers would love the traditional snow day, but I also think some students would love the traditional, 'Let's play and have the day open,'" she said.

Wake County said if weather disrupts in-person school, they will have an asynchronous day where students get assignments to do in their own time, but they don't have to sit in front of the computer all day.

What are current school cancellations and meal delivery cancelations?

Wake County Public Schools announced an asynchronous learning day for Thursday, meaning there will be no live instruction. No makeup day will be required.

Teachers will communicate assignments to students to complete on their own.

Wake County Schools has also canceled all before-school extracurricular activities for Thursday morning. All meal distribution, including the Big Bus Food Truck, is also canceled. Remote learning, however, will continue as usual.

"Information about any changes to afternoon activities will be shared if needed," says the WCPSS website.

Durham Public Schools facilities will be closed and in-person events will be canceled on Thursday, including DPS Learning Centers, all athletic events, and on-site screenings for pre-K and ESL students.

Because DPS is in Plan C (remote learning), all virtual classes, meetings and other scheduled online activities will continue as usual.

All canceled activities will be rescheduled, and parents will be contacted by the school. 

Free meal delivery on Thursday has also been canceled.

Cold food meal pick-up sites that would normally serve on Thursday, will be open for service on Friday. Meal services will also resume Friday.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools announced it will close entirely on Thursday, including no remote learning. The district encouraged students and faculty In a statement, "It’s a snow day, so please unplug, get away from your computers and enjoy your time."

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