I recall in back-to-back winters of 1977 and ’78, public schools in my county were closed for weeks. An old school buddy posted on Facebook last week that schools were closed for an incredible 42 days in 1978. In the country, when roads were snow-covered in one part of the county, schools closed countywide. Call it one of the cold comforts of growing up in a rural school system.
Of course, I can’t do long division or tell you the difference between subject and predicate because all those lessons were canceled due to snow. But I did teach myself the trick of “snatching” quarters by stacking them on my arm and then quickly grabbing them in midair, so it wasn’t like I wasted all those snow days. And I showed my daughter how to do that trick, too, I proudly add.
She won’t miss a lot of snow days though. Part of that is because we live in a city that does not cancel school frequently, although my daughter did get a couple of days off in the past week and a half. She sledded for hours with friends, built a snowman and did all the other cold-weather fun we’ve all done.
But even if we were socked with a blizzard that would immobilize the region for days, she won’t miss much school, thanks to the internet. Like I said, virtual school can be attended anywhere.
The Virginia General Assembly will consider a bill that will expand schools’ ability to hold virtual classes, when this infernal pandemic ever ends. Some people feared that would mean the end of snow days for children, but bill sponsors say that’s not the intent. Children will still have their days to frolic in the snow. They won’t, however, miss more than a few days at a time.