Far be it from me to criticize any school district's decision, but I do think that kids are missing something without having the pure joy of the snow day.
I remember watching weather on the local news when I was kid whenever we might get snow in hopes that Albany would cancel school the next day. It's not that I didn't like going to school, it's that I liked "snow days" better. Anything over a foot pretty much guaranteed that we'd have the day off. But that 6" to 8" range was a crap shoot. So we would go to sleep hoping that when we woke up, we won the kid's version of the lottery: A snow day.
On Tuesday, I learned that many schools in the area don't allow students traditional snow days. I don't even want to think about life without them. Turns out, about half the schools in the Capital Region grant traditional snow days, the other half tell students to stay home, but fire up that laptop for remote learning.
Back in the day, everyone listened to the radio to get all the closings and I don't know a single time I tuned in at the right time to hear the announcement about Albany City Schools. I either just missed it or they were were mid-alphabet, but we were patient.
When the radio announced that your school was closed, it was party time.
There may have been too much snow to go to school, but we were kids so there was always something to do. We'd find an open gym and play basketball, play kill the carrier in the fresh powder snow, grab a buddy's snow blower and go earn a few bucks or wallop each other with snowballs in a friend's backyard. Heck, even if we stayed inside, was there anything better than hot soup, a good grilled cheese sandwich and "The Price is Right?"
Snow days were the best.
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who has a high school-age daughter, and he was telling me that some of the students in her school are really suffering the effects of the pandemic. It's weighing on them emotionally and physically. He said that some of the kids in her school literally never leave the house. They do their remote learning, then play video games, then get lost in more screen time on their phone and then repeat.
I want to make it very clear that I am not against decisions made by area schools to do away with the snow day, as they have their reasons for doing so.
But I'm sure if you asked any school administrator, they'd agree that a bad snow day is better than a good day of in-person or remote learning.
They were a kid once, too.
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