Those unplanned days off due to inclement weather might now be a thing of the past. At a meeting on September 10, members of the Montgomery County Board of Education discussed the idea of ditching snow days while distance learning is in effect—which obviously makes sense when nobody is traveling to school. Montgomery County schools are operating virtually through at least January 29, 2021. But what happens after that?
Now that students and teachers are familiar with distance learning, is there any real reason not to educate kids from home when the weather is bad? At the meeting, Montgomery County school superintendent Jack Smith made it clear that he wants to ditch snow days even after the pandemic ebbs. “This digital experience is never going to go away entirely,” he said. “We don’t want it to, because even in the best world, I don’t ever want to have a snow day again. I don’t think there is any excuse for it again—to have to make up a snow day.”
No official decision has been made about the future of snow days. For now, it’s just something that’s being discussed. But the tone of the conversation at the meeting suggested that the idea is being taken seriously. “I will miss the student comments on Twitter when it’s decided that school will open on snow days,” joked Jeanette Dixon, a Board of Education member.
Though students love snow days, weather-related closures were a big issue in Montgomery County back when schools were open. The district ran out of snow days for the last school year and was forced to extend the semester into summer vacation.