Photo courtesy of Brooke Reed

My dog, Kingston, in the snow.

        Snow days are a monumental rite of passage in one’s childhood. The feeling of watching the news intently, staring as the county cancellation announcements scroll across the screen; hold some of my fondest memories. They have brought traditions like flushing ice down the toilet and wearing pajamas inside out. Unfortunately for the upcoming generation, these days may cease to exist at all.

        On January 13, Fairfax County announced that they are following in the footsteps of many other districts by opting for virtual learning on snow days. Due to the adjustments made during Covid, counties argue that there is no reason that inclement weather should suspend learning when we already have the “proper tools” in place. 

        Instead of building snowmen and making snow angels, students will be confined to their bedroom; spending the day in solidarity staring at their computers. Naturally, not everyone is too fond of this new policy.

        “We get so few snow days already and I would much rather be sledding than doing calculus” Ryan Young, 12, commented.

        Covid has taken enough from us students as it is: sports, dances, social events, etc. Now we can add our snow days to that list. It also doesn’t help that a lot of students don’t get much out of online classes. 

        “I don’t end up learning much anyways; there are a lot of distractions at home,” Megan Furr, 12, confessed. Therefore, students are not only losing out on a snow day to sleep in and relax, they also lose out on truly absorbing important information.

        Many teachers are taking the side of the students in protesting the new policy. Greg Robinson, science teacher, remarked; “True snow days can sometimes be a nice break from the norm. Like students, many teachers like to sleep in and go sledding with their families! Some teachers take the time to grade or plan

        Other teachers appreciate the loss of the impromptu days off. They argue that it allows them to stick with their lesson plan. Robinson said; “True snow days sometimes pose massive scheduling and timeline issues for teachers. AP classes and core classes that have an SOL are on a deadline to finish the curriculum by a certain point in the year. Multiple true snow days can mean cutting material, more homework and self-study for students, and that feeling of being rushed and overworked,”

        While this may be true, teachers may fail to realize that much of the instruction given on these virtual days will be drowned out by the sound of whatever Netflix show is on. “Of course I get distracted, we all do, you’re lying in bed with no one to monitor how much work you do or how many notes you take. It is easy to lose motivation,” Young stated.

        Seems that in the long run, these virtual days have no purpose besides wasting students’ time and tainting their childhoods. Snow days aren’t just a break for students; they are also a break for teachers. It is understandable that schools are trying to make up for lost time  because of the pandemic. It just does not seem necessary to take away the snow days at a time where kids need them the most. Covid has created a plethora of new stresses and anxieties that no one was ready to experience. 

        “COVID affected my life tremendously because it completely canceled my entire softball season last year, setting me months behind where I needed to be,” Furr reflected.

        The Class of ‘22 left school in 2020 as sophomores, and quickly found themselves in their senior year trying to figure out where they are going to college. Childhood is flying by for students. A lot of that is due to spending the past two years stuck inside. So to the school board, superintendent, or whoever needs to hear it: Please do not take away our snowdays; virtual lessons can wait, just let us be kids for once.