Do you remember snow days? That resplendent feeling of waking up early one morning as a kid and discovering that school was indeed canceled, and that you’d be free to frolic in blankets of snow, go sledding or make snowmen and drink hot cocoa? While some school districts across the country have decided to do away with them now that remote school is, well, a thing, others have decided to step in for their students.
Namely, and most recently, one school district in West Virginia gave kids a snow day on Wednesday, Dec. 16, the day of the first snow of the year, cancelling in-person classes as well as distance learning for the day. Why? Because remote school is still school, and kids deserve a break.
Superintendent Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson explained to Jefferson County parents in a letter on the night before the schools’ closure, writing, “For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy. It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life.”
Gibson added, “It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year,” as per WJLA.
The superintendent is right. As of Wednesday afternoon, there is a winter storm warning in Charles Town, which is good reason enough to give kids a snow day, but it’s also symbolically important to give kids a day to rest and play and spend time with their loved ones without the stressors of school, which is already stressful for a lot of kids and families during the COVID-19 pandemic (according to The New York Times, Jefferson County is averaging 34 new coronavirus cases per day). Let’s hope families and kids in the county are able to take the day to safely de-stress a little bit and play outside, if possible.