The Fate of Snow Days

Jack Pennington, Editor-in-Chief

Most teens raised in the Midwest will have memories of waking up for school on a snowy morning, watching the news with fingers crossed while trying not to spill cereal, waiting on tenterhooks for the official announcement of a Snow Day.

Those rare and treasured moments felt like Mother Nature’s gift, a payback, to all us kids who schlepped through months of Chicago’s slushy sidewalks and mounded snow banks, in sub-zero temperatures, to get to school during the winter season. Now that CPS has streamlined remote learning, will Snow Days be rendered obsolete?

We brought this question to the highest power in Whitney Young Land, Dr. Kenner. Unfortunately, while holding discretionary power for many issues, Snow Days are determined by the District.

CPS District declined to respond to the Beacon’s inquiries, so we decided to pose this question to our student body: Would you prefer having a Snow Day even if it extended the school year, or would you rather the school pivot to remote learning in inclement weather? In a poll taken of 41 students, 26 students voted to veto Snow Days.

Ajani Clanton’s (Class of ‘23) view supported the polling numbers, along with his statement , “I would definitely prefer to shift to remote learning so I can keep all my summer break days.” One dissenter, a class of ‘23 student who requested to be left anonymous, explained he’d prefer to keep Snow Days since, “I’ll take any chance to catch up on sleep, even if summer break arrives a day late.”  Whitney Young’s French Professor, Mme. Fetalino, held to the majority’s view, when she explained, “I definitely choose remote learning. Who wants to extend the school year if there’s another option?”

Only Mother Nature and CPS know for sure what will be coming our way for Snow Days this winter, but with the climate crisis in full swing, preparing in advance for extreme weather events has become a necessity rather than an option.