Uncertainty surrounds the future of snow days

October snow prompts the first snow day of the year. Students in the L-Z cohort are bitter regarding the snow day on an A-K in-person day.

The forecast for Monday, October 26 called for snow, and it did not disappoint. However, many Denver metro area school districts chose to go online for a change instead of canceling school. Some students began to question whether or not their prized snow days would remain. 

Heritage students reacted to the day in many different ways.

“I thought the snow day was a much needed break for students. It was a really good opportunity for students to get caught up in their classes, as well as their sleep.” Courtney McCormick ’22 says. 

Unlike McCormick, several students in the L-Z alpha cohort were frustrated. “It didn’t feel much different because I was already at home. I also didn’t understand that the teachers were saying it’s a full-on snow day but they still gave me work to do,” says Jenna Lilja ’22. Li Xin Nariman ’23 agreed with her. 

“I’m glad I didn’t receive new assignments, but I still ended up using the whole day to catch up on all the assignments I had. I think the way they handled the rest of the week was weird because it set back my odd period classes. Two-thirds of my teachers didn’t teach any new material to prevent A-K odd days from being almost a week behind,” Nariam says. 

Snow days are just as important to teachers as they are to students. 

“Of course from a teacher’s perspective, it is a huge pain having to redo their class plans, especially with AP classes. But I think that, especially with the rise in mental illness, having occasional days off is really good for everyone,” says Mrs. Glorso. 

Forms response chart. Question title: How should snow days be handled in the future?. Number of responses: 81 responses.
Heritage students are still look forward to snow days. In a poll of the student population, 90% of students want to keep snow days the way they are, while 10% of students would rather do a remote day, either synchronously or asynchronously.

As for whether snow days will remain, the answer for this year is yes, snow days and other closures would remain as a no school day. The LPS website states that for the 2020-2021 school year closures would be handled the same, and will be a snow day for all learning models. 

“Shifting to remote learning is still a process in our current model. We need to give teachers, students, and parents time to prepare for that shift. At the high school level, the impact may not be as evident to students, but when thinking about the elementary level, any time we change the school setting, there needs to be specific adjustments that may not just happen in a matter of hours. So snow days will remain the same,” Assistant Principal Amanda Hurley explained.

A majority of the time snow days are called due to concerns regarding transportation to and from school. For out-of-district students like Tessa Irving ’22, differing snow conditions can be a problem. “Snow days take a lot of stress off of me. As a junior, this is my first year driving in the winter, and since I come from Castle Rock sometimes I worry about getting into an accident on my way to school,” Irving said.

With improvements to online learning models as a result of the pandemic, there is still a possibility that school will move to remote learning during cancellations. But for the foreseeable future, Students can rest assured that their regular snow days will remain.

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