Online School: The End Of Snow Days?

Christopher O'Brien, Op/Ed Editor

    With school being 100% online and the cold winter months fast approaching, the big question on everyone’s mind is could this be the end of snow days? 

    I can confidently tell you: it’s pretty unlikely.

    With snow blocking the roads, not all teachers will be able to get to school. Of course, with school being online anyway, how’s this a problem?

    Some of our teachers have several other family members at home, all making noise or using up all the Wi-Fi, and they need a quiet place with a stable internet connection in order to teach us.

     Students need stable internet access too, and because snow storms are so unpredictable, there’s no telling if or when a student’s neighbourhood will fall victim to a power outage or blackout. 

    Students could, of course, request technology or hotspots from the school, but the process isn’t realistically designed to take snow storms into consideration.

    The process is actually pretty simple: students turn a request for technology into the school, the school checks to see what kind of technology you need (be it a Wi-Fi hotspot, a MacBook for CTE courses, or a regular Chromebook for Zoom calls, some students need both a hotspot and computer), and then Nancy Nygren cleans the device the student needs and puts it in a pile, ready for delivery.

    Nygren tells the family their devices are ready for pick up, and the family drives to the school to grab their devices. Unfortunately, with snow blocking the roads, the chances of families being able to get to the school, or even Nygren getting there safely, aren’t very great.

    The family stays in their car, and Nygren puts on a mask and gloves to take the devices outside. If the student needs a MacBook, they generally sign in at the school to make sure everything is working properly. Nygren says she can help about 25 families on a normal snow-free day.

    Of course, with teachers finally getting the hang of online school, this is mostly speculation. We could still have to suffer through online classes instead of playing in the snow.

    However, I think it’s more likely that Northshore will give us snow days and mark them as work days, giving students a chance to catch up on late work.