By Emily Drooby
Kindergarten teacher Ashley Lantz is planning a snow-themed lesson for her class on Dec. 17. It’s perfect for the new kind of snow day the school is going to have.
“We are actually going to still be having school, but obviously remotely,” explained Ashley, who is trying to center all of her activities “around the snow, so we are still having a snow day and we are still learning about the snow and how much fun it could be, but we are learning at the same time.”
In New York City and across the country, snow days are on thin ice. Many schools are switching to online learning during bad weather, instead of cancelling school all together, taking advantage of the remote learning model that the pandemic forced schools to adapt.
This change includes all Catholic Academies and parish schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn. While the buildings will be closed, all schools will revert to their remote learning model. This will help limit time-off during a school year where students have already lost so much time.
Students will also start their long winter break at the end of this week.
“Being able to limit the amount of time that they are losing instruction is really a valuable asset and most helpful to the students,” explained Joan McMaster, the Associate Superintendent for Principal and Teacher Personnel for the Diocese of Brooklyn‘s Office of the Superintendent. “So having this ability to flip to remote and not lose a whole day and not loose instructional time is really a valuable thing.”
Ashley is a teacher at St. Kevin Catholic Academy in Flushing, Queens. The Catholic Academy is trying its best to make this remote-learning snow day extra fun.
Academy Principal Allison Murphy spoke about the students’ experiences.
“They know that a snow day means they don’t have to go to school on another year,” said Murphy. “We are going to try to give them some sense of a typical school day, or typical snow day where they haven’t had a lot of typical days here.”
Some lessons will even get the kids outside.
Of course, many kids are not happy about missing out on a snow day. But as Ashley explained, this is the year when the kids need more school, not less.