‘Snow’ More Snow Days: New Policy Causes Students to Work on Snow Days


As we begin our second semester, there is a mixture of relief and anxiety; we are halfway done with the year, but we still have four months remaining, including AP and semester exams. The only thing helping us through Jan and Feb is the hope that Mother Nature grants us a snow day.

But no longer do we have the potential of this reprieve. Under Act 862, the public school district is now allowed to develop a plan for Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) to be used on days when schools are closed due to inclement weather or other exceptional circumstances. As a result, students will no longer experience the joy of snow days.

Although this Act does ensure that we will not have to make up snow days at the end of the year, it completely removes the only thing people look forward to in Jan and Feb. Instead of frolicking in the snow, we will now be cooped up in the house, doing busy work that our teachers are forced to assign us.

Furthermore, the structure of this alternative method of instruction is faulty. Much of it relies on the use of a computer; teachers are expected to post our snow day assignments on google classroom, edmodo, or some other such site. However, not all students have access to the internet when home, and, because the roads are likely to be closed, they will not be able to use the library’s computers.

Even if we all had computers and access to the Internet, power outages are unpredictable and likely to accompany inclement weather. According to AMI, if a power outage occurs, teachers are supposed to provide their students with a paper assignment. Now, unless all teachers have psychic abilities, this seems rather impossible. How are they supposed to give us a paper assignment if they are unaware there will be a power outage or even a snow day?

Many teachers share the students’ sentiment about AMI. Most of them already have their curriculum for the upcoming quarter determined and much of it cannot be done at home. If they do provide work for us to do on the snow day, it would likely be busy work that does not pertain to our current lesson.

Unfortunately, because this is the district’s decision, we do not have the power to change this new policy. All we can do is beg our teachers to, please, not completely ruin our snow days with huge assignments.