Are Iowa Schools Getting Rid of Snow Days?
It's become a hot topic for many school districts throughout the country, but is this idea making its way to Iowa anytime in the near future?
Earlier this month, New York City's Education Department officials announced that they would be getting rid of snow days. Students will be expected to attend virtual learning sessions in the case of bad weather making going into school
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that students learn forever. Students were able to continue their education safely from home. While this brought some issues of internet availability for families throughout the country.
As a second semester senior in college in March of 2020, I have a complicated relationship with online learning. It's a great tool, but it can be troublesome sometimes especially if you don't have the best or most secure internet.
Other schools over the past few years have done away with snow days and have turned them into virtual learning days. As reported by NPR, in 2021 many schools announced that they would get rid of them for the following school year. This includes schools in New York City (as previously stated) along with Naperville, Illinois, and Provo City, Utah.
Is this idea coming here to the Hawkeye State?
Well, it's actually already here...
In December of 2020, West Des Moines Community School District officials made the change. There are two main reasons that schools are considering this:
- Reducing the gap between learning days
- Completely gets rid of the idea of "making up" school days
I remember when there were a few particularly bad winters back East. There would be some years where we would be getting out later and later for summer.
According to Iowa law, schools have to hold class for a minimum of 1,080 hours or 180 school days per school year.
In 2021, Dubuque made this change. According to a report, Iowa government officials gave schools permission to hold virtual learning days in instances of bad weather and allowed said days to count for the district’s required time.
It doesn't look like this will be on a statewide level for a while if ever. However, in certain instances, schools are sure to probably use the tools that they've discovered from 2020 to help them reach the required hours.