The Future of Snow Days at Friends

Katie Bryan, Staff writer

Snow days are always a carefully thought-out decision at Wilmington Friends School. Ken Aldridge, the head of school, Ray Carbone, the director of facilities, Bill Baczkowski, Assistant Head for Finance and Operations, and the Heads of the Lower, Middle, and Upper School start discussing Snow Day closures very early in the morning before a possible snow day. They consider campus safety, driving conditions, they consult many different weather maps, and they also talk to other school leaders in the area to get a sense of what other people are deciding. Aldrige is the one that makes the decision but it is often a group consensus. 

The plan for snow days this year is that the first two snow events that call for a closing of the campus are considered true snow days. There are no synchronous or asynchronous classes on those two days. After those two days, the school will hold virtual school for any day that would warrant a snow day pre-covid. Late arrivals and early dismissals are still possible and likely. These will look almost identical to pre-covid late arrivals and early departures, no all-school virtual classes will be held on those days. 

Most kids always looked forward to snow days, waking up early and checking the website to see if they had off school. Wishing for unstable driving conditions has always been a tradition for kids and now that snow days are virtual some students feel like they lose out on the surprise holiday and the much-needed break. A 9th-grade student commented, “I wish they(virtual snow days)’d be kept to a minimum. It’s nice to just take a nice, quiet, snowy breather from school, even if it’s just for a day. School workloads just automatically feel heavier at home because it doesn’t feel like classwork, it just feels like hours of homework sometimes and that’s kind of a bummer.” Some students find it frustrating that while living through a pandemic they still have to go to school on snow days. 

The school decided to continue with virtual learning on snow days because classes are able to stay on track with the curriculum and schedule, no tests or quizzes will be delayed. The teachers have had a lot of time to set up virtual classrooms that work for their students and curriculum because of COVID19 and the setup works for snow days as well. Rebecca Zug the Head of the Upper school said, “Everyone can continue with the pace of the curriculum thanks to technology and remote instruction.” This really proves that Wilmington Friends can find a way to teach and learn in any situation.