Snow days need to stay

For many people, waking up to the swooshing sound of wind carrying small flakes into the sky is a memory we all remember—a snow day. School is closed for the day. Children sleep in and enjoy the snow. Unlike previous years, many schools today are fully online or in hybrid learning, bringing up the question of whether schools should have snow days. Given the current circumstances, the last thing students need is for the childhood feeling of a snow day to be taken away, resulting in even more stress and pressure.

Prodigious amounts of tension from school and the changing, uncertain world jeopardize teenagers’ health. A snow day can, therefore, allow all students to wind down and relax. It can be thought of as a mental and physical health recharge. Sleeping in, going outside, spending time with family, reading, painting, or engaging in any other hobby would provide students a longer break from their daily schedule. 

“Snow days give the opportunity for students to focus on their own situations rather than trying to juggle school on top of that,” senior Morgan Paoli said.

In remote learning, staring at a screen all day is the new normal, but with that comes negative impacts. Glaring at an electronic device for almost seven hours can cause headaches, eye irritations and an overall feeling of tiredness. This feeling doesn’t get better after spending even more time working on boatloads of homework, classwork and preparing for any upcoming tests. 

 According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “When we focus at the same distance for a long time, it can cause our vision to blur temporarily, and the muscles around the eye to tire, which can cause headaches. Extended reading, writing or other intensive near work can also cause eye strain.” A snow day allows some time away from electronics and also makes it possible for students to fully enjoy the snowy weather.

On the other hand, some people may claim that snow days are currently unnecessary. As the new school year started remotely, many days have been lost to getting acclimated to Zoom and managing to learn without any distractions. The extra day would allow teachers and students to catch up on any important material that would otherwise have to be skipped.

“It was nice that we had that opportunity [having a remote snow day],” RMHS teacher Timothy Waters said. “It helped to keep the flow of what we were doing academically, especially because so much had to be impacted by teaching remotely as opposed to teaching in-person that anything we could do to make sure that we didn’t disrupt learning was a good thing.” 

But, once the weather resembles a winter wonderland, it would be beneficial to not only the students but also the teachers, to take a step back and take a day to relax and unwind. 

“A snow day to me means freedom. The color white is just a symbol of purity and peace. You look out, you see the snow. You think ah, beautiful,” RMHS teacher Kate McNally said. “It’s just freedom to be me.”