DETROIT (WXYZ) — Will snow days soon be a thing of the past? Forget tossing snowballs when the storm comes. In some school districts, technology is leading to decisions to toss out snow days. Students are instead learning virtually.
In the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the change was made with technology and necessity in mind.
“Yes, we will be online Wednesday-Friday due to the snowstorm and anticipated problems with roads and especially sideroads in the city. We have used all six of our emergency days associated with COVID issues,” said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District.
Children at Samuel Gompers Elementary Middle School in Detroit have memories of what school used to be like on snow days.
“Most of the time I would go outside and play for a little while and then go in the house and play a game,” said Marlon Nixon, a sixth-grader.
Parents and students WXYZ spoke prefer in person, but mostly approve of learning virtually on snow days, saying COVID-19 has set them back.
“Kids need to be in school. Based on our School Aid Act, we need kids to be in school for 180 days. And if we don’t our schools will start to lose money. And you can’t educate children without the necessary funding,” said Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a Detroit School Board Member.
“To those who can pull it off, kudos to them,” said Rick Todd, Pinckney Community Schools Superintendent.
Todd says high-speed internet is not consistently available and his district has been teaching in person. It is hard to just suddenly switch.
“It’s not like flipping a switch,” said Todd.
He says when severe weather is on the way he and other Livingston County School leaders decide together whether to call for snow days. He confesses, as a dad, he hopes for a snow day that allows time for a little fun.
“Do a little sledding and have a little fun. Go outside. But any work I can do from home I will try to take care of that as well,” he said.