A Lack of Snow Days Has One Pennsylvania School District Considering “Work from Home” Days Instead

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Climate change is affecting society in all kinds of unexpected ways, and one of them is that all of the snow days that are scheduled into a school year are going unused.

When I was a kid (forgive me), we used 3-4 or more snow days a year, but in the past 5 years here where I live in flyover country, we haven’t used any. None. The winters have been wet but warm, and even if the chill lingered into April, no snow blocked the roads badly enough to call off school.


Except this spring, when we had so many snow days school lasted into June.

That’s the thing about climate change – you just never know. And since that can wreak havoc with scheduling,  Pennsylvania state lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow schools to offer students “work from home” days instead of calling off school on the off-chance that bad weather would close the doors.

That means, to be clear, that kids would have assignments to complete on what would be traditionally be thought of as snow days.


“School districts need the added flexibility of ensuring their students continuity of education is not interrupted by the weather or any other unplanned school school closure,” said senator Kristin Phillips-Hill in a statement.

Some districts in western Pennsylvania have already done some trial runs, and claim that students are loving it.

“They would sleep in, and then when they would wake up, would do the work on their own time.”


The flex days would count toward mandated teaching time so that students’ education was kept on track, with work being completed and turned in via online portals.

Some bumps have arisen, like the fact that not all students have internet access at home and that bad weather could potentially mean a loss of power, but Central York District superintendent Michael Snell also says he’s hearing rave reviews.

And Quakertown School District superintendent Dr. William E. Harner reports that their “cyber days,” implemented to help schools hit their 180-day requirement, are also going well.


“Snow days are supposed to be fun – if all goes the right way, school should be fun, too. Even using gaming instruction is an incredibly effective way of offering instruction.”

The governor still needs to sign the bill, but if he does, eligible schools will receive 5 days of “flexible instruction” every year to take the place of “if we need them” snow days.

I can definitely see kids loving the chance to be in charge of their own schedules for once, although it’s a sad world with snow days going by the wayside…