Do you remember how fun snow days were when you were a child? Or did you even have snow days? I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in a town called Darien. I would sit by the radio or watch the evening news in hopes of seeing or hearing my school name annonce “Center Cass School District will be closed.” Well, that rarely happened. Even with a few feet of snow we would find ourselves standing outside waiting for the bus to come and take us away to school.
The city of Chicago was even worse.
When I moved to the city I lived on a street called a “safe passage.” That means it was a street regularly monitored by police and school professionals for kids walking from their homes to school. We had a few monumental snow storms - but mostly it was “too cold to snow.” It was rarely too cold for school. I think the imminent threat of frostbite within seconds was the way in which they made decisions to close the schools … but when it’s that cold no one really wants to be outside playing.
And here we are in Delaware. From what I would describe as a semi-tropical summer (because I am not typically fond of the hotter weather) to a mild and pleasant autumn/winter. I imagine if we were to be “too cold to snow” it would be catastrophic. When it does threaten snow people scramble to get their bread and milk and hunker down. I would eagerly ask what you all did for your past snow day or two - but for most of us - we are already hunkered down. Eleven months of hunkering down and waiting.
Some school districts have used the online/hybrid learning platform to completely do away with snow days - so have some employers. However, there are also schools like the one mentioned in USA Today:
"Snow days are chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow, baking cookies, reading books and watching a good movie," New Jersey's Mahwah Township Public Schools told parents in an email in October. “These are times for memory-making, and we believe these types of opportunities should remain intact.”
Dorrell Green Superintendent for Red Clay Consolidated School District similarly suggested:
“We are encouraging our students, families and staff to enjoy the wonders of winter. Spend time playing in the snow, go sledding, watch your favorite movies, or cozy up and enjoy some stress-free time. Be mindful of elderly neighbors and help clear sidewalks and driveways if you can do so safely. Let’s take a break as a school community, allowing ourselves to enjoy the snow and the fun that comes with it. Take time to post your winter weather fun and tag Red Clay Schools on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.”
For me, I find the choice to use remote learning as a means to cancel the snow day not only robs children of the opportunity to have that anticipation of a day off - but a serious lack in judgement by superintendents and school districts. I agree with the Mahwah Township Public Schools and others like them, “these types of opportunities should remain intact.” The same goes for offices that are now remote, or have the ability to be remote. The mental health and break from tech should be looked at as the utmost importance for any employer. I had a lack in judgement when I told Kanchalee it was OK to work from home on Monday - when I should have been more direct with saying it should be taken as a snow day.
It’s snowing again today in Delaware. I am not sure when the next snow day will be coming, but hopefully you have plans to step away from your day to day … and find the wonder and relaxation that could be offered in another day of rest.
Yours in Christ,