Snow day vs. virtual day

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – It used to be a winter storm would almost guarantee a snow day for students and teachers but now that virtual learning is an option, some students won’t have the chance to get out of class.

“There is a certain nostalgia that is associated with snow days, a certain excitement,” says Bo Wright, the Rush-Henrietta Superintendent and current President of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents. While most kids across the Finger Lakes Region got a traditional snow day on Friday, that may not be the norm moving forward.

“We have an agreement with our collective bargaining units that we would approve up to two snow days as needed and then anything beyond two snow days, we would we would transition to remote-learning,” Wright explains.

Students and Staff in Brighton won’t get any snow days this school year. “In order to have a more inclusive calendar, we didn’t budget for snow days because the state provided us the remote option for this year,” explains Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan.

In addition to Christian and secular holidays, Brighton gives students and staff the Jewish high holy days and a Muslim holiday off. This is the first year the district hasn’t planned for any full snow days and the reaction from parents and students is mixed, “we are respectful of feedback but we’re certainly taking into account the success of the day, we’ve actually had very high attendance today I would point out, in terms of kids participating,” Dr. McGowan explains.

The school calendar for next year is currently being worked on and depending on which days, certain holidays fall, this may not be the end of snow days in Brighton, “we are certainly looking at next year to see if we can we provide some kind of balance to that so for example, could the first day be a snow day and then if we need additional days beyond that would they be remote days,” Dr. McGowan explains.

Most districts have planned for at least one or two snow days for the 2021-22 school year before they go to a virtual option.