Let Snow Days Be Snow Days

Picture this: it’s a cold, blustery morning in mid-January. You wake up early to your usual alarm and trudge downstairs to see a sparkling layer of pristine white snow on the ground. Excitedly, you run to check the news, and it’s just as you suspected: a snow day.
Nobody wants to spend a snow day in front of their computer, working on asynchronous assignments. Those days are supposed to be days off, days for us to relax without worrying about missing a class or an assignment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to do school through Zoom and Schoology assignments. Yes, this was important for the safety of everyone in the school district, but I and many others can attest to the fact that online school was much more difficult than in-person schooling. Just because we now have the technology and experience to hand out assignments and hold classes from home doesn’t mean we should use it every time school gets canceled for the bad weather.
Not only is virtual schooling on snow days a detriment to the mental health of tired high school students who just need a break, it’s an inconvenience to teachers to have to plan out, assign, and grade something when they could otherwise be relaxing. To expect teachers to have to do such a thing is unreasonable and unrealistic.
Even if teachers are mandated to assign work, most would just assign busywork, and what’s the point in that? It’s not a valuable use of anyone’s time.
To add insult to injury, those who aren’t being tested on ACT and Aspire test days will have to do virtual learning. This doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons.
Primarily, it raises the concern that students who will be testing on those days will fall behind because of the extra work assigned. It doesn’t make sense to have a virtual learning day during those testing periods. It’s also a long-standing tradition that students, especially upperclassmen who have already taken these standardized tests, get the day off to relax when others are testing.
Students and faculty alike deserve those coveted days off. On snow days, we should be able to kick back, relax, and take a much-deserved break from our busy schedules. The winter months are a stressful time for almost every high school student, what with the end of the semester and extracurricular activities like winter sports starting up again. A snow day could prove to be a needed break from the stress of everyday life, and having to worry about school just isn’t fair. 
 Unprecedented weather could also create issues with internet connection. It’s not an issue many people think about, but as an SHS student who lives 15 minutes from town, my WiFi signal is a bit lackluster most of the time. Weather like wind and snow only make my connection worse, and I’m sure many students can relate. It’s frustrating enough to try and do assignments at home, and doing virtual school on a snow day would make it much more difficult.
The main argument for asynchronous work on snow days is that it will keep the district from having to extend the school year in June. This simply doesn’t hold up, as we are allowed a certain number of days for school to be canceled regardless, and snow days are so rare that it’s not likely the district will need to extend the year anyway.
I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn’t mind going an extra day or two towards the end of the year anyway, as long as I got to sleep in, maybe curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book, and appreciate an ever-elusive snow day in the middle of winter.
Students don’t want to have to do work on snow days. Teachers don’t want to assign work on snow days, either. Some things are sacred, and in the rare event of a school cancellation because of the snow, we should be entitled to our precious day off. There’s no getting around it, a snow day should be a snow day.