There is no arguing that kids have had a rough go in 2020. The pandemic has forced them give up a whole lot, whether they're learning from home and unable to hang out with their friends, or learning at school and trying to figure out new safety protocols. So when one dad shared on Twitter that his children's school will still honor snow days for students as we know them, despite being able to do Zoom classes, it felt like cause for celebration.
In a viral tweet, David Teicher, a New Jersey dad of two, shared a screenshot of an email he received from the superintendent at his children's school, which he said "almost made me cry." And it will probably make anyone who's experienced the pure magic of a snow day a little emotional, too.
The email read: "We have decided that few childhood activities remain unchanged due to COVID-19 and we will maintain the hope of children by calling actual snow days due to inclement weather. Snow days are chances for on-site learners and virtual learners to just be kids by playing in the snow, baking cookies, reading books, and watching a good movie."
"These are times for memory-making, and we believe these types of opportunities should remain intact," the email concluded.
Teicher tells Romper he was "moved" to see the school's decision to protect snow days. "Kids have lost so much of what we think of as 'the childhood experience' this past year, with virtual school and social distancing, and we talk with other parents all the time about what kind of lasting impact it will have on them, and no one really knows," he says.
"It just was really nice to see the district put their happiness and mental well-being first in an effort to preserve something they love and can be excited about."
Teicher wasn't the only one moved by the concept of kids being able to enjoy snow days even during COVID-19. Since posting on Oct. 27, his tweet has gotten over 21,000 likes and more than 4,300 comments. "This really hit my heart! ... snow days are such a special memory," one comment read. "Wonderful! I hope this is adopted by every district!" another tweeted.
While Teicher wasn't expecting his tweet to go viral, he surely understands why it did. "I had no idea it would blow up like it did," he tells Romper. "But I guess there are lots of other people, either with kids or who remember what it was like to be a kid, to wake up at 5 a.m. and excitedly run to the window hoping to see enough snow to warrant a snow day, that it hit us all in the feels, as they say."
In the months since the COVID-19 outbreak first hit in early 2020, schools across the country have had to scramble to come up with ever-evolving plans to keep kids safe while they're learning. Remote education became a reality for many children during quarantine, with parents and caregivers taking over the facilitation of learning via virtual classrooms. As some schools reopened for in-persona learning, mandatory masks and social distancing were put in place to keep kids safe.
As important as it is to protect safety for kids, their childhood memories also need to be a priority. And there is nothing like a snow day, a surprise bit of time off to hunker down and simply be a kid, to really create those memories.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.