What Happened To Snow Days?


Madilyn Perkins

A beautiful sunrise on a snowy Colorado day.

Snow days occur when the weather becomes too severe to safely travel and a school or school district will close down, so students don’t need to gamble on whether or not they’ll make it to school or not. In the past, Doherty would have frequent snow days because of Colorado’s instantaneous and dramatic weather. However, because of a recent pandemic and dropping grades and attendance, snow days will become more of a luxury. Because snow days are less productive than regular days, District 11 made the decision to turn snow days into e-learning days. This way, Doherty doesn’t need to make up missed school days at the end of the year.

Recently, there was a snow flurry that caused roads to become slippery and dangerous on November 18th. Superintendent Michael Gaal wrote a formal apology because a two hour delay or a remote learning day was not issued for District 11 schools. He writes, “When a mistake is made, it is best to own up to it and learn from it.” Many students ended up staying home because of the unsafe road conditions, while others were unlucky enough to come to school.

How are snow days determined? From icy roads to high winds, the safety to and from school are tested early in the morning to determine what needs to be done to keep every student safe. Typically relying on school buses and the routes they take and the status of sidewalks students take for walking to school, superintendents of each district choose what to do for safe traveling.

Remote learning days will be conducted by each individual teacher using Webex. Each class is approximately 15 minutes long and starts an hour after a typical school day normally starts. Lunch is 45 minutes long, and there is extra work time from 11:45 to 3:10 pm. This means that despite having to work from home, classes are still shortened to take advantage of the snow day.