Almost everyone will agree, snow days are great. On December 5, it was voted to start a new program called “Distance Learning Days.” The program will be tested on the second and third days canceled due to inclement weather this year. The goal of this program is to stop adding extra days of school at the end of the year by making snow days count as school days, though no one will be in the building. Google Classroom will be used to assign the work, and teachers will be active for parts of the day to answer questions.
However, the new policy isn’t liked by everyone. Some students say that snow days are like a vacation and that we shouldn’t have work assigned. There are more serious concerns about how the program will work for everyone. “Many parts of Marblehead are extremely affected by harsh weather,” says Oliver Riegle, a freshman. “Often, the power goes out, and the Wi-Fi doesn’t work or has poor connection. This would make it hard to access Google Classroom.” The new BYOD, or bring your own device, program allows for this policy to work, but technology is not perfect 100 percent of the time. Technological problems could arise that would stop students from completing their assignments. Other students are in favor of this new program. Olivia Gardner, a freshman reporter for Headlight, is one of them. She says that we will have longer summers with this new policy, which will be good for everyone, and that it can also help us be productive in a non-work environment.
Personally, I think doing schoolwork wouldn’t be as bad if you could stay in your house and in pajamas if you wanted to. In addition, students will be given seven days to complete the assignments, which can be good because you will not have to rush to finish. This could also be bad because people may not complete all of their work on the snow day, which defeats the whole purpose of the policy. There are teachers who have concerns as well. Though they may be a fan of the idea behind the program, there are many questions about the logistics. Teachers must assign something that includes a physical product, such as a worksheet, and not just a reading assignment or watching a video. Without teaching the planned lesson, teachers may have to assign work on something that has already been learned. Ms. Buono, an English teacher, says she may just have to give busy work for her students. She worries that work assigned on the “Distance Learning Days” will not be looked back on after the day off. However, there has not been a snow day for this program to be tested, so no one knows what it will be like. Perhaps people will see the benefits of the program once it is put into action, or people will realize that the program isn’t going to work out. No one knows for sure, so until then we’ll just hope for a snow day. The main downside of this policy is having to do work on what would be a day off. Would it be better to have a day of school while at home or stay later in the summer? What do you think?