Will New York Kids’ Snow Days Be A Victim Of COVIDs “New Normal”?
I have nothing but good memories of school snow days. There's something truly magical about an unexpected holiday that also provides it's own unique winter fun. Most of us even still remember when they'd read off the closings list on the radio or run a ticker on the morning news and we'd wait by the TV like we were star quarterbacks waiting in the NFL Draft.
But now New York City is making snow days another victim of COVID's "new normal," leaving kids and parents alike upset. The move is also stirring outrage across the country, as some mourn what looks like the end of an era for play.
"It's Gonna Be Good For You!"
During an interview on Fox 5's Good Day New York, New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks addressed the City's plan for weather emergencies this school year that require buildings shuttered for the day. The Chancellor ended all hope very quickly, saying snow days were gone, and remote learning is here to stay. In his entirely too joyful words, "with the new technology we have, it's one of the good things that came out of COVID."
Chancellor Banks finished his weak refrain with a hearty and cliched, "it's gonna be good for you!" Look, my grandparents said the same thing about steamed okra, but that stuff is nasty and I still despise it.
Remote learning, which started out of necessity from the pandemic, means when in years past students would be sledding, now they'll be in front of a computer screen at home. Now parents have to act as TAs and hall monitors on top of working when winter weather strikes.
Virtually No Fun
Virtual learning has also faced criticism for its unfairness to low-income families, who must eat the cost of technology that allows their kids to participate in mandatory online class.
So far there's no announced plans to spread this policy across the state. There's been speculation that the move is specifically to bolster NYC's faltering attendance numbers; New York State requires students be in class 180 out of 365 days in the year.
These real issues all considered, some say the kids just need a break to be kids and enjoy the magic of youth. You don't get snow days as an adult, so why rush it? While there's been backlash and support for snow days all across social media, one tweet sums up the situation in a succinct six words: