One of the best, most relieving feelings in the world is waking up at 6 a.m. on a school day, dazed and confused, and checking your phone to see that school is canceled. Although it can be exciting in the moment, the consequences of a day off may not be worth the school-free day.
Montgomery County Public Schools has closed school three days this year due to below freezing temperatures and snow. MCPS also only has two built-in snow days in case of emergency closures, meaning the county has already exceed its snow day limit.
MCPS should become more strict when it comes to school closures because the county has added a snow day to the end of the year, canceling school with a curriculum teachers need to follow, which leads to a rise in students’ stress levels.
The state of Maryland requires that all public schools need to fulfill their 180-day school year requirement. This means that Maryland school districts have little leeway in regards to how many days students and teachers can miss. MCPS only put in two extra days in the calendar for snow days and has already cancelled school three times. Because of the third missed day, the county added an extra day to the end of the school year, June 14. The Chief Operating Director of the county, Andrew Zuckerman, sent out an email on Feb. 5 announcing what will happen if we have another snow day.“If we have a fourth school closure due to emergency weather conditions, then the next emergency weather make-up day will be Wednesday, June 5, 2019,” Zuckerman said.
The majority of students and teachers don’t like the idea of adding on extra days of school because it includes extra days of waking up early, attending class for eight hours and planning another lesson all while trying to act like you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “I love having days off of school, especially for snows days because I can run around in the snow with my dog. But it gets frustrating when we have so many days off, and then have extra days added,” sophomore Nathan Bowman said.
Another reason MCPS should be more strict when it comes to snow day decisions is because teachers have a set calendar for their instructional plans and deadlines for when they want things done. Even with snow days, teachers still tend to abide by their set calendars, which puts a lot of stress on the students.“Coming into second semester as a senior I was really excited. But missing so much school the first week, it was really stressful because the teachers gave us work from the week we missed and the current week,” senior Jack Berman said.