OPINION: Schools should implement snow day plan

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force graphic, Staff Sgt. Alan Abernethy // The increasing amount of snow days has impacted school calendars.

In light of the numerous recent snow storms that have struck Stamford, there has been a growing concern as to when the schools will be making up the missed days.

For many students taking advanced placement (AP) courses, there is a particular worry about teachers not finishing the curriculums in time for the AP exams. AP exams occur nationwide in May, regardless of the amount of snow days in schools.

However, as the majority of these storms have occurred in the past few months, many students believe that it would be unfair to take days from spring break, as many people have already made plans, months prior, that they cannot cancel just weeks before.

“The district should not cancel spring break, since most students and teachers already have plans to visit colleges or family or go on vacation,” said Gabby Lovishuk (’19).

Taking spring break away so late in the school year would likely have negative repercussions on the school community.

“Since people have already had their breaks planned months in advance, attendance would be so low that there would be no point in cancelling break this late in the year,” said Emma-Rose Strom (’19).

The Stamford Public School District should learn from this predicament and establish a plan for next year and onward that would take into account the possibility of another intense winter season.

According to njherald.com, Vernon School District in New Jersey created their annual school calendar excluding a spring break, but would reinstate it if the district did not have five snow days by March 15.

As the district ended up having twelve snow days this year, their spring break was never reinstated, and additional school days were added to the end of the year to compensate for the days lost. 

Though our district’s case was not as extreme, there should be some measures put in place to allow students to have more classes made up before AP exams, and prevent another year of staying in school until the end of June.

“[Our district] should make a plan to take away the first or last two days of spring break if there are snow days so people can still make plans,” said chemistry teacher Mrs. Dodita.

A solution like this would still allow people to plan vacations during the week and build in a couple of snow days into the calendar. Even though it would not make a strong impact if there were seven snow days, it would still be some form of effort to reduce the amount of additional days at the end of the year.

Though Vernon School District’s plan is a more extreme version of this suggestion, and does not leave students with much time to make plans for Spring break, it does minimize the amount of school days added at the end of the year, therefore lengthening their summer. Though the decision is not in the hands of the students or teachers, the superintendent should consider their suggestions, as well as the decisions of school districts in nearby states.

As the weather is unpredictable, and winters can either consist of brutal blizzards or spring-like days, the Stamford Public School District should brace for the worst and create calendars with tentative days of vacation that would be rescinded if there were a certain amount of snow days. 

However, for this current year, it is too late to make any changes to spring break and everyone must adjust to this lengthened school year and urge SPS to plan with more consideration to the weather in the future.

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