The Excitement and Tradition of Snow Days 

Remi Ragland, Staff Writer

It is 8:00 pm on a school night. Snow flurries have started to blow through your town as you get in bed, anticipating the next morning. You anxiously reload the school website to spot any announcements. When you wake up, snow is covering every inch of your front yard and school is called off. This exciting experience is treasured by many school students and is a part of childhood’s most fun moments. 

Snow day activities are truly endless. Since they only come around a few times a year at most, they bring new and entertaining pastimes. Whether you enjoy staying warm inside or exploring in the snow, there is always something to do. If you like to spend time outside, The Taste of Home suggests that you try making snow cones, studying snowflakes, or shoveling walkways and patios for neighbors to make some quick cash. If you would rather enjoy the snow from the comfort of your own home, you should try baking cookies, making hot cocoa, or watching a holiday movie. Freshman Tyler Morton says his favorite snow day activity is sledding. Snow days help everyone get into the holiday spirit and experience their own winter wonderlands. 

Although snow days are fun, you should also be aware of how to stay safe during them. Wonderopolis stated that you must remember “snow days occur because weather conditions make getting you and your fellow students to school too dangerous.” Keeping this in mind, roads are not the safest place to be on snow days. You should avoid trying to drive in this weather. If driving is necessary, there are a few things that drivers and passengers must know. First, your car should have tire chains, snow tires, or four-wheel drive. This will ensure that your car has enough traction in the snow and will not get stuck. It is crucial to drive slowly and be very aware of your surroundings. Even if you feel confident driving in the snow, it does not mean other drivers are not a possible danger to your safety. This is especially important when considering black ice, a layer of ice on the road that is nearly impossible to notice. Always check on your car to make sure maintenance is taken care of and that it is prepared for different weather conditions. Senior Libby Yoon recommends, “Stay home and do not drive in the snow,” and recalled seeing someone crash in a snow-related accident. As entertaining as snow days are, you should never forget the precautions and safety measures that will ensure a fun experience.  

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy around snow days nationwide. In the 2019-2020 school year at Issaquah High School, we had three snow days, extending the year to June 23. The year before, school was extended to even later, making the last day June 27. To put this in perspective, school usually ends around early to mid June. Since there is a required number of days that students must attend school, sometimes districts have no choice but to continue school into summer break due to built-in snow days already being used. Sometimes, school is extended so long that students do not even attend the extra days. Junior Corben Trevino supported this by saying he does not usually go to school on those days because it goes too far into summer. Schools in other states, such as New York, are getting rid of snow days in general.  Since many schools are familiar with using remote learning due to COVID-19, many propose the idea of using this type of learning on days where students cannot physically come into school. According to an Ed Week Research Center survey, “Thirty-nine percent of principals and district leaders say their district has converted snow days to remote learning days, and another 32 percent say their districts are considering the change.”

There have been a lot of opposing opinions about this as some faculty and families believe that snow days are a waste of school time, while others believe they are a special part of childhood. For example, a USA today article said that @katie_honan wrote on Twitter, “It’s truly unfair that children will not experience the snow day magic I did, which was actually me and my sister watching hours of TV and not being able to leave our house until our mom came home from work.” New advancements and exposure to different ways of learning has given many schools a question of whether to get rid of snow days or keep them. Staff member at Liberty High School, Rebecca Ragland, shared, “School should be held remotely during snow days, but only if everyone can have their own computers and plans, because not everyone can access the internet or a computer. We should move past having time off that we have to make up.” Some view snow days as tradition and something to be kept and cherished, while others would rather focus on staying up to date on schoolwork and curriculum and keeping students engaged. 

This winter, try out some of the fun snow-related activities, while also remembering to be safe on the roads. Start planning for a different type of snow day as remote learning becomes more common and popular.