Somewhere in Ohio, the Internet Is Ruining Snow Days

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The best part about growing up in Michigan, besides my pet wolverine, was the abundance of snow days. But a school district in Ohio is threatening to destroy the sacred snow day by making kids learn. On the internet.

A snow day, for those of you who are unfortunate enough to have grown up in states without that fine form of precipitation, is a day on which school is cancelled due to inclement weather, usually related to snow or ice rendering the roads unsafe for travel. They hold a special place in young imaginations for many reasons. First, snow days were usually declared early in the morning, so you'd go to sleep thinking you'd have school the next day and wake up with this wonderful surprise, a whole day of freedom bestowed upon you like a gift. That would be welcome on any occasion, but it was made all the better by the fact that you could usually count on there being an obscene amount of snow for you and your friends to trample across, tunnel through, or pack into snowballs throughout the day. Snow days always just seemed like they offered infinite possibilities, a unique promise that was explored at length in a feature length film called Snow Day, released in 2000, which was unfortunately not that good, if memory serves me correct.

But according to the AP, Mississinawa Valley Schools in Darke County, Ohio, a district that serves a large rural area, is testing a new program that threatens to do away with all that—those epic neighborhood snowball fights and towering snow fortresses—by making kids learn online during snow days. The Ohio Department of Education has already cut back the number of "calamity days" districts are allowed to declare from five to three this year, and the Mississinawa Superintendent Lisa Wendel says that online learning will help students prepare for college, where classes with online components are increasingly common. You know what else is common in college? Skipping class. "I'll give you my snowballs," I would tell them if I were a Mississinawa Valley School student, "when you pry them from my cold mittened fingers." [Washington Post]


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