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Op-Ed: Saying Goodbye to the Magic of Snow Days in 2021

Photo courtesy of Maya Ferreira

Maya Ferreira, a junior at West Hartford’s Hall High School, is hoping that remote learning as a substitute for snow days won’t become the norm.

By Maya Ferreira

Growing up in New England, snow days have always been my favorite days of the year, even now while in high school.

There is true magic behind a snow day, between putting spoons under our pillows or wearing our PJs inside out, every kid wishes for no school the next day. But now, after the two “real” snow days the district gave, the magic behind a snow day is in essence – gone.

On our first remote snow day here in West Hartford, I looked outside my window to find not one kid playing outside. There was not a single smile, not a single laugh, not a single snowman built, and not even a single footprint on the ground. The world was quiet just as it has been the past year: no sports games, no school events, no concerts, no plays, only our computers and that Google meets screen.

Luckily, for us, West Hartford Public Schools has done an excellent job keeping us in school so students can be together as much as possible.

But, it isn’t the same.

Yes, we have the wonderful opportunity of going to school but all the joys of school and life around have been stolen right out of our hands.

So, today I ask, why more loss?

Of course, we can listen to the same old rebuttal about how remote snow days will keep us from having to make up days at the end of the year and complete the number of hours we need to be there.

But, at the end of the day, numbers cannot compensate for the pure joy a snow day brings to a child.

It isn’t fair to a new generation of kids to strip them of the happiness and joy every New England child has been able to experience. From drinking hot cocoa as the flurries fall and building snowmen with our neighbors, to losing one of your gloves in the snow, the memories you make as a child on a snow day last forever, and it’s heartbreaking to deprive our youth of these moments.

It is simply more loss in a year filled with loss.

While the West Hartford Public Schools administration has already decided about this year’s snow days, let’s make sure the next generation of kids have memories of spoons under their pillows and sledding down their favorite hills and not mute buttons and 11:59 p.m. due dates. Don’t allow remote snow days to become the new norm.

Sometimes students, no matter their age, need a day off the play in the snow and create the memories every New England kid holds onto forever.

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