Should we continue to have inclement weather days in the schedule?

Annabel Everett and Els Krimsky

PRO: Let’s plan inclement weather days into the schedule

We all know the feeling: waking up in the morning and seeing that the ground outside is covered with snow. Shortly after, an announcement comes through that schools are closed due to the weather. It’s time to go back to bed, knowing that the day will be free from school work.

Inclement weather days have been a part of the John Carroll school year for as long as I can remember.
Personally, my favorite feeling is waking up to a foot of snow on the ground and getting a day off from school.
However, inclement weather days are not necessary guaranteed anymore due to new technology, such as Microsoft Teams. During COVID, students and teachers had to navigate websites like Teams and Zoom together so everyone was able to learn virtually.
Fortunately, this means that students have the option to learn in new ways and be able to keep up with classes even with absences. This also means that virtual days on Teams and Zoom can replace snow days and other inclement weather days. Just because the technology exists, does that make eliminating snow days right?
John Carroll should keep inclement weather days so students can be pleasantly surprised with some unexpected days off in the school year.
Being completely honest, seasonal depression is real, and it can definitely hit hard in the winter. However, a break some days goes a long way for me personally, and it can always bring a smile to my face during the winter.
I have some great memories of going sledding with my sisters and friends on snow days and watching movies with some blankets and hot chocolate on rainy days. Many of my peers share the same ideas as well.
Senior Flora Lau said, “Yes, we should definitely keep inclement weather days because it gives all students and faculty time to rest and restart.”
Senior Giada Scotto Di Carlo said, “I prefer having off on snow days as opposed to online learning because it’s a nostalgic feeling to wake up to a day off.”
There are some good arguments for eliminating inclement weather days as well. Many students prefer the option of online schooling and enjoy staying in the house on TEAMS.
With inclement weather days being eliminated, the school would not need to add additional school days to the end of the year. If the school keeps inclement weather days, some days may have to be added to the end of the school year.
However, I would rather have days off in the middle of the year with no online learning than days off at the end of the school year. I enjoy intermittent breaks in the year more, and the additional days added to the end of the year wouldn’t be hard to get through.
Therefore, John Carroll should keep inclement weather days because it is tradition; it gives students breaks in the middle of the year, and it is a good way for students to enjoy the winter months. – Annabel Everett


CON: Inclement weather days are now a thing of the past due to technology

JC students are well-versed in the technology needed for remote learning days. Therefore, it’s time to move beyond the “inclement weather days” when schools are completely closed.

With even just the mention of a snow day, students immediately experience feelings of excitement and relief — and for good reason. Snow days are associated with relaxation and relief and come upon JC students as some sort of miracle that allows for a pause in the busy winter months of the school year.
Even in all their glory, snow and inclement weather days no longer make sense if built into the school year for students and teachers who have spent over two years mastering the skills and technology needed for online learning.
A pause is needed here to emphasize the importance of “online learning” in the case that inclement weather hits JC and surrounding areas.
Students and faculty should never be expected or encouraged to travel in conditions that put them in danger or at higher risk of an accident.
If and when the weather proves to be a problem for Patriots getting safely to school, announcing remote learning for the day is the appropriate response rather than removing a whole day of school from the calendar.
JC students have the privilege of receiving a private education, and to exercise that privilege fully, they should attend school whenever possible under reasonable circumstances. The fact is that remote learning is reasonable when students and faculty are faced with unsafe traveling conditions.
A sudden pause in learning can disorient students and teachers from the track they are on, even if it is just one day. When a community has the tools to plan around obstacles like inclement weather, it is necessary they do so to encourage their mission; in John Carroll’s case this mission is providing education.
Even if the school does away with excusing school on snow days, it will not mean those extra unscheduled days have to go away, too. The school can add the days normally set aside for inclement weather to pre-scheduled breaks, still giving students the time off they would get from snow days. This change would even give students more days off during the school year since the school cannot know just how many days, if any, will be disrupted by weather.
Initiating remote learning can also ensure the school year will end on time and as predicted. For instance, if a blizzard were to hit Harford County and keep students and faculty at home for more days than there are set aside for inclement weather, then the school would have to tack on extra days to make up for lost time, which can take away from summer break.
The fact of the matter is that students and faculty alike deserve to continue their careers even when they cannot physically be in school. The JC community has the knowledge and technology to continue educating and learning through days when the weather does not cooperate.