Snow days essential to student mental health


Shelby Ford, Assistant Editor


The high school experience just isn’t the same this year. When we look back in future years, how will we remember our time in school besides sitting at a desk in front of our computer all day? 

   With online learning, many questions have come up, one of the big ones being about whether or not we will have snow days. The school board has announced that there will be snow days in extreme cases only. This could potentially mean anything from “everyone’s power has to be out” to the old definition,  “Oh, there are two inches of snow, guess we get a snow day.” So the question is, which one is it?

   Part of this conversation around snow days has to do with the many challenges that people of all ages are having to face during the pandemic, especially the fact that the mental health of teens has declined noticeably. For some students, school helps to distract them from how they are really feeling, while for others, school is only worsening already bad feelings of isolation and loneliness.

   School can be physically exhausting and mentally draining. It isn’t often that we get a day off or get out early. The weekly grind can feel neverending. Wake up, do school work, eat dinner, do homework, go to bed. Repeat endlessly.

   A snow day could serve as a “catchup on homework day,” a “spend time talking with friends day,” or just a much-needed mental health day. If school carried on without any snow days, it may only perpetuate the constant grind of school without the balance of surprise relaxation normally associated with bad weather.

   When in-person learning was a thing, snow days were like Christmas morning, but the gifts were getting to sleep in, seeing friends, and maybe even catching up on homework. Andy Jenks’ voice on a robocall delivered the best news to hear. Now, if we were to remove snow days completely or make them “asynchronous days,” just imagine how that would feel. Like our life really is only about school?  

    One might argue that if we don’t have snow days, then that keeps everyone on track and schools don’t get behind.  However,  schools have a certain number of inclement weather days built into the schedule to accommodate required academic hours. What if we were to use the built-in snow days for mental health days to help ease the strain on teachers and students?  Maybe it’s worth looking into, for everyone’s sake.