Potential Snow Days
January 20, 2021
Dear Hollis families,
As you are fully aware, this has been a challenging school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been fortunate, to this point, in regards to winter weather that has had minimal effect on conducting school. However, traditionally, January and February have provided for some difficult decisions in regards to whether to conduct or cancel school. I wanted to notify you that my plan, as of now, is to cancel school on bad weather days and afford our children traditional snow days. Although we could provide remote instruction on those days, I prefer to make up those days in-person at the end of the school year.
I have come to this conclusion for several reasons, as follows. Instruction is much more effective when it is in person. Our teachers and students have done a remarkable job of conducting remote learning this year, but I do have concerns about the learning loss that has occurred, as a result. Making up snow days later in the year in person will provide our students with a much more beneficial experience. Secondly, spontaneous remote learning is difficult for our youngest and most at-risk learners that have to be made in advance. Finally, our students have had a lot taken from them in the last 10 months. I don’t want to add to the list.
You might have seen on the national news, a snow day letter that was sent to parents in a district in West Virginia. Here is an excerpt from that letter.
“For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy. It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life. For all of these reasons and many more, Jefferson County Schools will be completely closed for tomorrow, Dec. 16, in honor of the 1st snow day of the year. Closed for students… closed for virtual… closed for staff. It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss. For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year. So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires. Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time. We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow…go build a snowman.”
I simply wanted to provide you with my rationale for when later this winter, you receive early morning communication from me canceling school. Further, I wanted you to be aware that we will NOT be conducting remote learning on snow days, either.
Thank you for your continued support.