Could COVID-19 Kill School Snow Days Forever?
As I sit here writing this from my (new) home studio, my wife, a fourth-grade teacher, is in the kitchen reviewing lesson plans with her team, my son is taking a Spanish class, and my daughter is studying Van Gogh for her art lesson.
Slowly, but surely, the beat goes on despite the COVID-19 coronavirus. The world is, once again, in the process of figuring out how to improvise, adapt and overcome one of the biggest challenges we've ever seen. Schools, at varying degrees, are working hard to create a new normal and somehow salvage some learning to end what will be one of the most memorable school years of our lifetimes.
Is learning the same as it would be if these students were physically attending school each day? Definitely not, but that might not be all bad. Sure, there are things that you just can't accomplish without being together inside a classroom led with the personal instruction a teacher can provide. But from what I am seeing in my house, there are definitely things that can be done from home. If we do this long enough, I'd predict that there will be things we'll discover that can be done better from home than in a classroom.
It makes me wonder if COVID-19 has ushered in the end of a long era. Has the virus killed the modern-day snow day? I think the school districts have done a remarkable job pulling together this remote curriculum. When you think about it, none of us really had much time to pull a plan together. Considering what they've accomplished with no prep time to speak of, why couldn't the same practice be applied to a snow day?
Normally, we have an idea about an impending storm days in advance. If it looks like we're going to get snow, students can bring home the needed materials, the learning (albeit adjusted learning) can be dispatched, and snow day mode can be out of play. Unlike the current situation, the systems would only need to be engaged for a few days at a time, at most.
Having remote learning during snow days could save the schools from having to go deep into June after a rough winter. It's really the best of both worlds. Kids will get the fun and excitement of having a day to stay home and play in the snow without having to make it up on the other end. It would allow all of us to mark down the last day of school in pen.
Could COVID-19 kill the traditional snow day? We will see.