BENNINGTON — The snow day is one of the last bastions of normalcy in the time of coronavirus, but with many schools pivoting to remote learning during the crisis, there’s been some worry among parents.
Will the snow day become a thing of the past?
Depends on the district.
A survey of local school districts had all different answers this week when asked about the policies revolving around the snow day.
For the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, they’ve decided if a school closure is required due to inclement weather or a COVID-19 related incident, in-person learning will shift to remote learning.
According to an email from Katie West, the SVSU’s public information coordinator, SVSU adminstrators, in collaboration with school principals, made the decision for snow days to be remote work days.
“We want to keep education going, either in person or remotely, to make sure our students have as many days of learning as possible,” said SVSU superintendent James Culkeen.
When schools close because of inclement weather, a K-12 alert will be sent out to families and social media posts will go out. Students will be asked to visit their assigned Google Classroom or SeeSaw account to review directions at the start of the regular school day.
So far, SVSU students from kindergarten to eighth grade have been in-person in a hybrid mode, while Mount Anthony Union High School remain fully remote with the school closed due to mold.
The administration at Cambridge Central School has already made its decision — snow days will remain. At Thursday’s Board of Education meeting, district superintendent Douglas Silvernell announced that when there is a snow emergency, students won’t have to take their regularly scheduled classes online.
“If we indeed have a snow emergency I intend to have a traditional snow day. I believe that so much has been taken from our children.
I think this simple thing will help maintain some normalcy for our children,” Silvernell wrote in an email.
All students in the district have started to return to in-person schooling, either full-time or in a hybrid mode.
Plans are still up in the air at Hoosick Falls Central School, according to superintendent Patrick Dailey.
“New York state hasn’t finalized its protocol yet,” Dailey said. “The idea would be that the district shifts to all remote learning on a day where weather does not allow students to be transported to school safely, essentially ‘saving’ the use of a snow day.”
Dailey said that New York has released early information on snow days, but the school has to adhere to a specific protocol to do so.
With Cambridge’s decision, it seems like each local school district will have the option to keep or get rid of the snow days.