COVID-19 has brought changes to the entire world, with remote/virtual learning becoming a 'normal' thing for many students. Now, recognizing the 'success' of remote learning, New York City's Department of Education decided there'd be no more severe weather days and will shift to remote instruction in the events of those situations.

For New York City's school-aged children, gone will be the days of wearing pajamas backward and flushing ice cubes down the toilet in hopes of waking up to find there's no school due to snow. The New York City Department of Education (DOE) released the 2021-2022 calendar and in a statement shared that there would be remote instruction instead of canceled classes due to severe weather conditions.

Traditionally, snow days are 'built-in' to many school systems' calendars across the world to make room for the days where it's too hazardous for students and staff to go to school in person. But, considering the last year-and-a-half taught us all sorts of lessons about what 'going to school' even looks like, the DOE decided to continue school even on those days where weather wasn't as permitting.

Proponents of the practice believe that this will be good for kids in that in some areas, snow and weather conditions can keep kids out of school for days or even weeks. Shifting to a remote option will then allow children to continue to have schooling, no matter the weather. In December, even May Bill de Blasio showed sadness for the traditional 'snow days' that kids typically look forward to being gone.

There are MANY parents who are not happy about the move, however. Citing access to the technology, inequity in ability and just plain, "Let kids be kids sometimes," mentality, they believe taking 'snow days' away is not of good practice. Many students, teachers and parents alike look to weather days as traditional and unexpected 'mental health days' and now? That could be a thing of the past, gone with our 'old normal'.

The calendar will have students start school on September 13 and also has additional changes as side effects from the pandemic. ElectionDay (November 2) will be a built-in remote learning day instead of a 'no-school' day. Two conventional holidays--Indigenous Peoples' Day and Juneteenth will be added to the calendar as non-attendance days for kids. Indigenous Peoples' Day is now replacing Columbus Day.


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