Are Rockford School Snow Days Headed For Extinction?
One of my favorite memories of my kids growing up revolves around schools being cancelled for a snow day.
"Back in the day," as the expression goes, when schools were pulling the plug on a school day because of heavy snow (and later, because of extreme cold), the way most people found out about it was listening to the radio.
Morning radio hosts like me were the ones who delivered the snow day news to families gathered around the radio to see if their particular academic institution was on the big list of schools calling off the school day.
My kids, being like all the other kids, did the same thing. They waited near the radio with their mom, fingers tightly crossed, for dad to tell them that there was no school. My kids, unfortunately for them, are a bit like me, and three flakes falling from the sky got their hopes way up for a snow day. When they heard me say that their school was closed for the day, the celebration began.
I did not realize that they thought because I was the one who announced school closings, I was also the one who decided whether or not schools could close. I became aware of this fact when I got home one day to find out that they were absolutely furious with me when they had left the house that morning to go to school.
"What's dad's problem!?" they wanted to know. "Why didn't he call off school? Doesn't he know that we want to stay home and play outside? Why is he so mean? Why did he let some other schools take today off but not us? We told him to say it's a snow day, and he didn't!"
Now that they're both in their 20s, I think they understand. I'm not sure, because it's still a sore subject and I try to avoid the topic entirely.
The reason for the "dad is a complete jerk" walk down memory lane is the announcement yesterday by RPS 205 that they would be replacing snow days with "e-Learning Days."
Now an e-Learning day can replace an emergency day. Students will attend school remotely and continue learning through a remote learning day. E-Learning days will be similar to our adaptive pause in December, and similar to what our remote learners are doing now.
In their announcement, RPS 205 goes on to say that this move doesn't necessarily send the concept of the snow day into the dustbin of history, but it's an option that will help them reach the goal of continuing teaching, learning, and simply keeping a routine going.
I wish that my kids were right, and that I did have the power to declare a snow day to be in effect, because I do think that from time to time, the kids (and their parents) could use a couple of snow days over the course of a Rockford winter.