Is remote learning the death of the school snow day?

Mar 27, 2023, 7:30 PM | Updated: Mar 29, 2023, 8:57 am

a child pictured outside in the snow during the day...

Castle Thomas, 3, walks through the snow in Reservoir Park in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Laura Seitz?Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz?Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utah saw yet another snowstorm Monday, many schools opted for remote learning. This begs two questions: will students ever see another snow day? Is remote learning the death of the school snow day?

Director of Communications and Operations with the Davis County School District Chris Williams joins Dave and Dujanovic hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic. He sheds some light on what factors decide a delayed start or a full-blown school snow day.

Initially, Noriega said, Davis County School District had its schools on a delayed start due to the weather.

“Which shocked me,” he says. “I was very, very surprised that they had just delayed because I couldn’t imagine having school today (Monday).”

Noriega says a few hours passed and he heard otherwise. Davis County School District had decided to have its schools do remote learning.

“We didn’t necessarily think this accumulation was gonna continue. So that’s why we did the two hour late start,” Williams says. “As it continued to just accumulate, we had our plow drivers saying ‘we can’t get ahead of this.’ And so we continued to meet and we said, ‘you know what, we have the ability to go remote, let’s go remote.’ So that’s what we did.”

Williams tells Dujanovic and Noriega the decision to change from a delayed start to a remote day was for the safety of everyone, especially students.

Determining factors of a school snow day

Williams says when it comes to weather such as heavy snowstorms, the school district must first decide if it is going to hold school.

“And we said, no, there’s no way let’s go to our late start. So we sent out that message and we’re moving in that direction,” he says.

From here, he says the district communicates with snow drivers and keeps an eye on the forecast.

Williams says Davis County School District could see that people were struggling with Monday’s snowstorm. This ultimately led the district to decide on remote learning.

Additionally, Williams says the district always encourages parents to keep their children home if they feel weather conditions are “too bad.”

“Just keep your child at home and we’ll work with your child to make sure we are flexible and letting them make up any work that they miss,” he says. “So, no matter what the conditions are, whether we go to our late start or remote, we always let the parents know that they are in the driver’s seat for the safety of their own kiddos.”

Listen to Dave & Dujanovic on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.


Related: Lake effect snow causes school delays, remote learning in northern Utah

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Is remote learning the death of the school snow day?