Despite virtual learning, some Pennsylvania schools opt for snow day ahead of winter storm: 'Just be a kid'

Walter Perez Image
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Despite virtual learning, some Pa. schools say enjoy a snow day
In this era of virtual learning, some Pennsylvania schools are still opting for a snow day, and the reason is simple: let the kids have fun after a tough year.

GLEN MILLS, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Nearly every school district in the Delaware Valley has a few snow days baked into the calendar just in case Old Man Winter decides to unload on the region during the academic year.

But is there ever a real need to cancel classes now that so many students are already learning remotely courtesy of COVID-19?

It turns out several of those school districts still say, yes. Among them is the Garnet Valley School District.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Bertrando says the reason is simple. After a year of closures, restrictions and upended academic schedules, this is an opportunity for his students to have a little fun.

SEE ALSO: Snow emergencies, closings in Philadelphia area ahead of winter storm

PennDOT crews are working hard preparing roads and getting ready to take action during the forecasted snowstorm Wednesday into Thursday.

Bertrando is urging his students to "get away from the screens, get outside, and be a kid. Obviously, follow all the health precautions, but just be a kid."

And so, as of Tuesday evening, all classes in the Garnet Valley School District are canceled for this coming Thursday.

Neshaminy School District is also cashing in two snow days, Wednesday and Thursday.

In a posted letter, Superintendent Dr. Rob McGee offered similar sentiments toward his students adding, "Shovel out your driveway, then your neighbor's driveway, then people who cannot shovel their own driveways."

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Dr. Bertrando says he truly believes it's one of those small decisions that can have a big impact.

"It's one day in an eight or nine month journey that we've all taken together with a lot of negativity and a lot of disruption, and I thought it was a really easy way to do something for the social and emotional health of our children," said Bertrando.

Still, does the advent of remote education with the technology progressively improving mean that the days of class cancellations linked to inclement weather are numbered? Bertrando says only time will tell.

The School District of Philadelphia says there will not be any snow days due to the storm because of the virtual environment.

"With all students in 100 percent digital learning, the School District of Philadelphia will not have to implement a 'snow day' and cancel classes," the city said.