PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In light of the first winter storm of the season, students are making sure their voices are heard in the snow day versus no snow day debate. Some of their efforts were successful, while others are still holding out hope for a change of heart.
Snow days are some of the most anticipated days of any school year, but after two quiet winters, it looks like Philadelphia public school students won’t be enjoying them this year either, due to the pandemic and remote learning.
”The beauty of digital learning is that inclement weather will not impact the ability to continue carrying out teaching and learning,” said Superintendent Dr. William Hite Wednesday morning.
Hite is holding firm on his decision to not call for a snow day Thursday, despite a growing petition started by two Masterman Middle School seventh graders that approached 1,400 signatures by Wednesday afternoon.
“It felt like a real group effort,” said Tova, who drafted the petition. “It was a little inspiring.”
“I don’t feel discouraged,” said Kala, the other student who launched the petition. “But I am disappointed that the snow day didn’t work out.”
The students say they’re not asking for a day off, but rather an asynchronous learning day where they can work at their own pace and get in some snow time if they choose. They do have the support of several teachers who also signed the petition.
”I think it’s important that they recognize how important snow days are for our mental health and how happy they make us,” Kala said.
While the petition didn’t sway Philadelphia school leaders, an Upper Darby kindergartener managed to get a snow day for her entire district, by speaking up in a virtual meeting Monday night.
“Should Thursday be a day where you can hang out in the snow? I’d like to hear from the Diba family,” said Upper Darby Schools Superintendent Dr. Daniel McGarry, in a clip posted to the district’s Facebook page.
“I want to play!” responded the smiling kindergartener.
“You want to play? Alright, there it is, you made the decision. We’re going to play on Thursday,” McGarry said.
All hope is not lost for Philadelphia students. The Masterman students hope their individual teachers will still call for an asynchronous learning day Thursday so that they can enjoy and then get their work done.
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