OPINION: JCPS should replace snow days with NTI

Snow angels are another nostalgic winter activity that can bring back memories of childhood winters. Photo courtesy of @maddie.goldstein via Instagram.

Maddie Goldstein

Snow angels are another nostalgic winter activity that can bring back memories of childhood winters. Photo courtesy of @maddie.goldstein via Instagram.

Ofelia Mattingly

There are some winter mornings when students wake up and start getting ready for school, only to find out that they don’t have to go. Few years have passed without JCPS calling at least one snow day, whether for reasons of snow storms or ice coating the roads. 

Initially, most students feel elated about this turnout; but, then they remember that they have to make up for the missed school day and cut into their summer vacation or other planned holiday time. It can be a bittersweet experience leaving many pondering whether they should worry about missing school or fully enjoy what’s in front of them. 

With the new NTI experience, I believe we have a solution to this dilemma. It would be beneficial to replace snow days with NTI days. 

Learning Time

 Teachers can notify their students of any assignments via Google Classroom and hold either asynchronous or synchronous classes, just like we do currently. We’ve all experienced NTI at this point and teachers have a better grasp on how to execute their lesson plans through this format. It wouldn’t be unfamiliar territory.  

Since we’ll be going back in person- hopefully 100% by next school year- there wouldn’t be a major problem with time or efficiency either. NTI days would serve as an adequate substitution for occasional, supplemental situations.  Students would be able to easily do their work and teachers could smoothly alter plans for the day, in order to accommodate what the class needs.

Less Stress

Although snow days may be enjoyable at first, they can lead to stressful situations later on. Especially in scenarios where a snow day turns into a snow week. Everyday is valuable for instruction time and some teachers would have to go through their content more quickly in order to make up for lost time. This is particularly true for AP classes, since the date for AP exams would not change and the workload is heavier.  

NTI during snow days would cause less disruption to a student’s education and let them continue through their content as they would have during in person school. This way there also wouldn’t be a pile of makeup work awaiting them upon returning. 

No Makeup Days 

One major problem with snow days is that they have to be made up in some way. There has to be a method accounting for missed learning opportunities and educational attendance. 

Sometimes, the makeup days are during the school calendar year, replacing set breaks. Other times they replace the beginning days of summer break. No person wants to give up their summer break just to make up a school day because they missed it during the winter time. Having NTI during these school days would allow students to have their breaks and their full summer break, no reductions necessary. 

The district should look into replacing snow days with NTI days, since it would be less stressful and more beneficial for both students and staff. Students could still enjoy the benefits of being at home and enjoying the snow or other winter activities, while also having time to complete classwork. This new resource should be utilized for future reference and not just tucked away after our pandemic woes are over.