‘Snow’ much for that
The snow day is dead; long live
That’s the attitude the city’s
Department of Education adopted in releasing
its 2021-22 public school calendar.
The nation’s largest public school
system declared that, in the event of
inclement weather, students would
shift to remote instruction rather than
close schools entirely.
On paper, it seems like a reasonable
idea made possible due to the rapid adaptations
at the start of the COVID-19
pandemic. In practice, however, there
are some serious concerns with this
The pandemic shift to online instruction
was diffi cult, as many New
York City parents can attest. Nothing
can replace the interaction of a school
classroom, an environment specifi -
cally designed to foster learning. It’s
much harder for a child to concentrate
from their bedroom, living room or
Adding to the diffi culty is that not
every child had the technology needed
to participate in remote learning. The
city scrambled to purchase and deliver
tens of thousands of iPads and other
electronic devices, and try to close the
technology gap as much as possible.
A student engages in remote learning. Getty Images
Nevertheless, the gap remains —
and is aggravated by the continued
lack of affordable high speed internet
to every New Yorker. Until these defi -
ciencies are resolved, there will be untold
numbers of children left at an educational
disadvantage — and even one
lost day of instruction can prove to be
a major setback for a child struggling
By contrast, if the entire school or
BRONX TIMES R 12 EPORTER, MAY 7-13, 2021 BTR
school system is closed due to snow, every
student remains on the same page
as they were when they were last in
class. No one will be lagging behind
their peers due to slow internet or a
broken or nonexistent laptop.
And then there’s the tradition of
school children getting a day off to play
in the snow.. Last December, when the
classes went online during a snowstorm,
a number of parents opted to let
their kids play hooky anyway to enjoy
snowball fi ghts, sledding and a warm
cup of soup after.
What good is carrying on a remote
lesson when a large chunk of the class
is out building snow people?
Cancelling snow days might seem
like a good idea whose time has come.
But the Department of Education may
well realize that it’s more trouble than
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