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Will 'snow days' become a thing of the past?

With virtual learning going from a niche to the norm this year, students and parents are now wondering if snow days could be a thing of the past

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — With virtual learning going from a niche to the norm this year, students and parents are now wondering if snow days could be a thing of the past.

One superintendent in Lancaster County believes students have had enough taken from them already.

For Dr. Brian Troop, superintendent of Ephrata Area School District, making the decision to call a snow day is one he dreads. But after this past year -

"A conversation about snow days is pleasant," Dr. Troop said.

Many people are wondering if snow days will be a thing of the past, now that just about the entire world has learned to do things virtually.

"We decided that for a single-day snow event or severe weather event, we're not going to immediately try and pivot and go virtual that day," Dr. Troop said.

Dr. Troop believes the interruption to learning of a one-day closure is not significant. Lucky for hopeful students and parents in his district, the big question was answered on the Ephrata Area School District Facebook page: "We have decided to handle weather-related closures in the traditional manner for this year...So, get your gear ready to safely enjoy the winter weather."

But each district is different. Harrisburg School District posted on its website it will continue its regular virtual learning schedule during the winter weather season. Warwick School District in Lancaster County, though, said there will be a balance when it comes to snow-day decision making. It plans to make this Wednesday a snow day and make this Thursday a flexible instructional day.

Dr. Troop said Ephrata School District will consider doing virtual learning if snow continues to be a problem, potentially as early as this Friday.

"There's a lot to be said about everything that kids have lost that would be part of normal school experience," he said. "If we can avoid them losing the idea of a snow day and looking forward to that forecast and that anxious feeling that I'm sure we all remember when you see those first couple flakes of snow out of the classroom window, we want to preserve that if we can."

For a list of closings and delays, click here.

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