Eleanor Gensemer, Staff Writer

It’s that time of the year when snow days roll around. However, the developments in remote learning over the pandemic pose the question: are snow days necessary anymore? With virtual learning, students no longer need to worry about snow days cutting into their summer break. 

Virtual learning became a lifeline during the outbreak of COVID-19. Zoom, Google Classroom, and Canvas saved the schools during an uncertain time. These tools allowed students to access their work and teachers to continue instructional activity spontaneously. So why would we turn our backs on it now?  

Every year we are only permitted three days off by MCPS. This way, schools can secure the necessary 180 days of instruction. Previously, snow days accommodated students who couldn’t get to school. But now we have a way around it. Virtual snow days will secure the longest possible summer while making it easier for students to continue learning. 

The main problem with snow days is it takes away time from summer break and adds time to the school year. Even when we get a day off, the time still adds back on. So it may seem like we are getting time off, but in reality, we are in school for the same amount of time.

All states can decide how long students need to be in school. Maryland has a total of 180 days per year, only allowing for three added days off before summer gets shorter. While three days sounds nice, that time is easily taken up. Big storms continue to come, and they have no choice but to take away from summer and sometimes spring break. During the 2018-2019 school year, MCPS went over their snow day count and had to take from both summer and spring break.  

In 2018 an article titled “Montgomery County is Out Of Snow Days – Is Your County” Stephanie Ramirez said, “An MCPS Spokesperson tells WUSA 9 if they close for snow on Wednesday, the next make-up day will be June 5th. They’ll work their way back into the calendar and even look at their Spring Break if need be.” 

With all the days off, teachers and students often find it difficult to focus when returning to school. The time off throws students out of their schedules and routines. The change in the school days also makes lesson planning more difficult for teachers. 

Everyone knows the struggle of returning from a snow day. You lose track of what is happening in classes and are left scrambling to catch up. Virtual snow days easily avoid this problem. All the learning you would miss throughout the year would be avoided and you would not have to worry about not being prepared.

According to CNN, “if students are snowed out of school, they won’t learn as much.” 

Everyone knows snow days are a great time to catch up on sleep and have fun in the snow. Every student needs a break sometimes, but our winter is already full of brakes 

While snow days are good breaks, we have tons of them already during the winter. After Thanksgiving break, there are only 18 days until winter break. Then there are only ten days of school until we have off for Martin Luthar King Jr day. Finally, you only have to wait four days until another day off for the end of the quarter professional day. 

With all these days of no school during the winter, it is already hard to stay focused. Adding snow days will make it even harder for students to stay engaged and keep grades up.

Overall, snow days are detrimental to students and preventable with virtual days. It will give students longer summers, more breaks, and a better chance of doing well in school.