A teacher friend of mine was worried yesterday that the schools would NOT be closed today. Here's why.

I never thought of it this way, but a long-time teacher friend of mine was getting upset yesterday when it looked like some schools would try to stay open with just a delay today, despite the snow predictions.

She had an interesting perspective. She said that if all day yesterday the kids were hearing that snow was on the way, and also hearing that other schools had already decided to close, that if her school had decided to stay open her students would have been in no condition to learn.

She said that the kids (at least the younger ones in elementary/middle school) get so distracted by the thought of a snow day or early dismissal when they see snow outside that it is nearly impossible to get them to hunker down, concentrate, and, well, LEARN anything.

I guess their little minds are so excited for the chance to run around outside in the snow tossing snowballs, sledding, and making snow forts that, especially when there hasn't been much snow in a while, they just can't wait to NOT be in school.

I read a study that reached an interesting conclusion. In short, the study shows that it's not snow days that cause gaps in learning so much as it is kids randomly out sick. And that's because if there is a snow day, teachers can coordinate their learning to make up to all the kids what they should have learned that day.

But if just one or two kids are out sick randomly, the teachers then have trouble helping those kids catch up on what they missed individually, while keeping the rest of the class on schedule. Math, especially, is tough to miss because each lesson is dependent on the last.

Sure, schools want to use as few snow days as possible since that means tacking days onto the end of the school year, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Icy roads equal danger. Let the kids stay home if there is a question in your mind. In the end, they will turn out just fine!

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