Talk about being the abominable snowman of snow days. If school closes for inclement weather, let the kids have fun and enjoy it.

Especially here in New Jersey, where snow days are becoming less and less common. Now yes, it used to take a lot more before schools closed than it does today (at least it seems that way).

But whenever schools are forced to close, the kids should enjoy the day. The only school work they should be doing is a project that was already assigned while school was open.

With the exception of college, no grade school should be assigning work when a school closes for snow. Not an early dismissal, but a full closure.

School Closure / Closed

However, there was one New Jersey teacher who assigned my friend's kid an assignment during a snow day on Friday, January 19, 2024. This particular school district announced it would be closed the evening before, and plans were already made to enjoy the day.

But alas, this one teacher of theirs decided to give out assignments on the snow day, despite the school being shut down. It was a middle school, but I'm not going to give out the district or teacher's name since I want to protect the privacy of my friend and the school itself.

With that said, do you think kids should have assignments given to them if their school closes for snow? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, but let's first take a closer look at this and why I believe it screws the kids more than anything.

Virtual learning
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash


Virtual Learning is screwing kids & teens

This, right here, is a big part of the problem. Yes, virtual learning got us through the pandemic, and it's a good alternative if we get slammed by snow day after snow day after snow day.

However, school districts typically account for snow days with the expectation some days will be lost due to winter weather. So if the school closes, put that laptop away.

No books, no pencils, no tests. Instead, put on the snow boots, break out snow tubes, and gear up for awesome outdoor adventures.

TSM Illustration
TSM Illustration


Does it count toward 180?

As mentioned above, the schools already account for snow days so there's no need to force a school closure into session. But if a teacher does decide to do so, would it be toward the 180 school-day requirement?

We all know the answer to that is no, so why assign in the first place? Let alone sending out assignments around 10 A.M. on a snow day to your students and making them due at midnight.

Yup, that's what this teacher did, and it's just wrong. It's the same as your boss telling you that you must work on your day off without any extra pay.

For the kids, that payoff should be credited toward the 180 days. Not a pizza party, but an earlier start to the summer.

TSM Illustration
TSM Illustration


You should just say no

High schoolers can probably get away with doing this on their own. But for the elementary and middle school kids? It might be better for the parents to intervene.

In life, it's OK to say no from time to time. Not that saying no to education is a wise decision, but it's absolutely warranted when that teacher goes outside their lane.

And if the students don't do that snow day assignment - assigned on the actual snow day itself with no prior warning - it absolutely should not be held against them.

School bus / School delays during snow


Message to that teacher

Look, we understand you're trying to keep up with your school agenda, but this is just wrong. It's bad enough New Jersey doesn't get many snow days anymore, don't take the few we do get away from the kids.

It's also a terrible lesson for the kids. You're essentially teaching them that a day off is worthless and won't matter anyway since there's no reward at the end of the day.

And making your assignment due by midnight that day? Honestly? You come across as someone who is out of touch with reality.

If the school is closed, you don't assign. It's as simple as that. I sure hope your students were able to enjoy their Friday snow day and not sweat over schoolwork or the fear that they might fail if they didn't get to it by midnight.

School Snow Day / Virtual Learning

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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