At least one New Jersey school district has decided that even with virtual and hybrid learning being used, kids still need snow days.

The superintendent of Mahwah Township Public Schools announced their district will still build snow days into the academic calendar, preserving the cherished joy of childhood of getting an unexpected day off. Superintendent Leonard Fitts told parents in an email, published by NorthJersey.com, that while virtual instruction has rendered the snow day somewhat unnecessary, “We have decided that few childhood acts remain unchanged due to COVID-19 and we will maintain the hope of children by calling actual snow days due to inclement weather. Snow days are chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow, baking cookies, reading books and watching a good movie.”

I think it’s awesome that with the whole educational experience being turned upside down for kids that there will still be one tradition maintained. I think we all remember the anticipation that came with the forecast of snow, getting up early to peer out the window to try to guess if there was enough snow to call off school for the day. There is also a practical reason for keeping snow days; many teachers still have to physically come to school to conduct classes and part of the district is using hybrid learning with students at school some days.

Some students also are part of special programs that are held at school, so transportation in inclement weather is still an issue. Of course, the district still has to satisfy the 180 school day requirement and will modify the spring break if necessary.

Mahwah seems to be bucking a trend: districts across the country, including New York City, have announced that they will not have any snow days since so much of the school instruction is now virtual.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.