Cora DeWyre ‘21, Circulation Manager and Business/AD Manager
Picture this: you wake up early on a cold winter morning, tucked tightly and warmly into bed, and you realize your home phone is ringing. On the answering machine, a message in an automated voice states: “South Lyon Community Schools will be closed today due to inclement weather.” You hurriedly check the school district’s Twitter page to confirm you are not in a sleepy daze, and that you just heard the delightful news of a snow day correctly.
This year, students across the state will not experience the glee that comes with a snow day. Instead, students will be impatiently confined in their homes during the school day. They will peer out their windows, longing to hit the sledding hill, build a snowman with their neighbors, or aid in shoveling their driveway before more incoming blizzards.
Snow days happen on rare instances, but they do not go unappreciated by staff and students. The excitement before a winter storm accompanies many individuals, and to some extent, prompts pleading to the superintendent on social media by concerned parents and eager students. Senior Sam Klingler said, “I always enjoyed trying to predict snow days and watching the snow day calculator and waiting to get the phone call from the district that there was a snow day.” She later added, “It was also nice to have a surprise day off of school when there was a snow day, but with online school, there is not a reason to have snow days anymore, which takes away all the fun.”
The history of snow days as we know it began as a way to protect students from riding the bus or walking to school in extreme weather conditions. Michigan State University experienced its first snow day cancellation in 1967, 112 years after it was founded. According to On The Banks, which reports news and perspectives from Michigan State University, they have had “seven cancellations, for a total of nine days.” The most brutal winter storms caused the cancellations of MSU classes on specific occasions, but this does not go unrecognized by the citizens of the university. The nine days represent the total number of snowdays that Michigan State University has ever had. Learning to cope with minimal snow days, and facing the harsh weather, other school districts can learn from MSU’s continuation during blizzardous occasions.
With technological advances, school districts can now focus on online versions of education while hazardous weather conditions continue. Whether it is hailing, below freezing, or blizzarding outside, students will not experience snow days during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the inclusion of online school formatting.