Why Snow Days are Needed Now More than Ever


Photo by Cayla Newman

Yesterday, Cresskill Public Schools announced that on Friday, January 7th students and staff would “transition to remote learning after consultation with local health officials.” Middle-High School Students are no strangers to virtual learning, after two years of sitting home and staring at their computers. But what’s worse is that Friday, January 7th also brought inches of snow to Bergen County, causing nearly all other school districts to close – and formally close, with no virtual learning. Yet, today, Cresskill High School students are attending their classes online, while everyone else enjoys a Snow Day. Here’s what The Communiqué’s staff had to say:

Putting a spoon under your pillow, flushing salt down the toilet, typing your zip code into snowdaycalculator.com. The excitement when you wake up in the morning and your parents tell you to go back to sleep. Drinking hot chocolate after playing in the soft fluffy snow. All of these things are key parts of growing up on the East Coast. The best part of having a childhood in a place that has winters is the opportunity to play in the magnificent phenomenon known as snow, not sit inside in front of a computer for seven hours. By the time Cresskill kids get out in the snow today it will no longer even be white. Depriving children of the opportunity to experience snow days is depriving them of what it means to have a childhood. 

This year has been crazy as is. Working virtually is difficult, and I know everyone says that but it’s so true. In addition to it being more difficult to concentrate virtually, it is so difficult and depressing to “attend” school everyday without any sort of social interaction. This has had a huge impact on my and my friends mental health, as well as our motivation. Last year, when it snowed, for a sense of normalcy the school let us have a snow day. I was so appreciative of this, because it allowed us to still have some of the exciting perks that came with a normal school year. This year, which is possibly more difficult than before as we have been working so hard with all the changes, we were not granted this same perk. Class is just as difficult, if not more daunting this year. We should be granted this sense of normalcy in a difficult and mentally draining year. 

A snow day is a lot more than just whether or not you can come to school. It’s about nostalgia and the memories. Some of the best memories are made when school is cancelled and you get to experience the snow. Kids can’t even actually play in the snow and make those memories. They’re going to miss it all at the hands of what? An extra day of miserable class they will probably never remember.

We should continue having snow days and delayed openings for numerous reasons. For one, it gives students a break from class. Personally, I easily get migraines and feel dizzy when staring at a computer screen for too long. I don’t want to take medicine too often for my head, but the other option is just feeling generally bad during the school day. There are also emotional and mental reasons a break from class would benefit students. School is very tiring, and a snow day would give students the chance to reorient themselves before Monday. Secondly, just because  students are doing remote classes doesn’t necessarily make it easier on them. For example, students who have to shovel snow and would normally finish during the school day now have class. Younger children who enjoy playing in the snow now have to attend online classes instead. A routine was developed for many families on snow days, but that sense of normalcy has been lost with the intrusion of online classes. It’s snowing for the first time this year, I think we should have been given a snow day if not for practicality, but for enjoyment’s sake. 

It is absolutely ridiculous how there aren’t snow days anymore. It’s not fair how all other schools get the day off and we are stuck at home staring at our computer screen instead of going out and enjoying the snow. Kids are missing out on the joy of waking up to their parents telling them it’s a snow day and going out and playing in the snow. It actually sucks, I am sitting here awake at 7 in the morning while I am hearing other schools have the day off. We already lost our actual school like can they cut us some slack for once and just give us the day off?

I believe we should have snow days as we have been stripped of so much joy these past years between COVID and our school flooding. Personally, I still rejoice at the sight of fresh snow no matter how old I get and I know that is a common sentiment among a lot of high schoolers. We have been virtual for almost 2 and a half years now, when something not related to a computer arises students literally jump at the chance to engage with it. I would understand if it was an inch of snow and not worthy of wasting a snow day however, in past year this would classify as at least a delayed opening, if not a snow day. 

Remember those childhood memories where we would sled down hills, build snowmen, and make snow angels on snow days? Well kids in elementary school now may not get to experience that. Today I woke up to inches of snow, this is definitely not drivable, before virtual learning this would’ve definitely called for a snow day, however today i just clocked in on Zoom. I believe that despite having the option of virtual learning, schools should still have no school when there is heavy snow outside. There is still a risk of power outages and people having trouble due to the snow, if a student has lost power they will not be able to join the zooms. Another factor is when our school, Cresskill, does not have a snow day however other towns in bergen county do. I feel as if with a snow day, students can have a day to just catch up on some school work, to help their parents with shoveling snow, and to play with younger siblings. And for the younger siblings, children should not  have the experience of playing in the snow taken from them. Sure we have them later on in the year, but what’s the fun in that?

I think that we should still have snow days because they are a part of growing up. As a younger kid (in elementary school and even middle school) some of my best memories are snow days and sleeping in and then going on to enjoy the day with my friends. I think that not having a snow day is horrible for the mental health aspect of many students since they have to just watch the snow fall outside while sitting on their computer in their room. Not only this, but also seeing many other schools in the surrounding Bergen County area not having school can be very frustrating to watch them do snow day activities while we stay in class. Lastly, the least our administrators can do is give us a snow day after students have not stepped foot in our actual building in the last 4 months. We the people want a snow day and we want it now!!!!!