COLORADO SPRINGS— Five Palmer High School district students made a snow day committee to bring back traditional snow days. They argued student engagement, internet access, and mental health issues stem from remote learning snow days.
D11's superintendent announced the news during a town hall meeting the first week of January. The committee presented research to the state's department of education in December.
"Just really relieving to see that what we can do as five students in a district of thousands of kids can really make a difference," said a snow day committee member Aisling McConnaughey.
The committee sent out a survey to students, parents, and teachers about how remote learning snow days affect them. They found most students and teachers were over remote learning from the pandemic.
"[Remote learning snow days] just brought back a lot of that trauma and PTSD of those mental health issues that students are still overcoming," said McConnaughey.
For many students, a traditional snow day lets them take a much-needed break from school and time to bond with family.
"It was really important that we got to preserve such an important part of our childhood," said a snow day committee member Jada Lukens.
The superintendent said students and teachers aren't prepared for a last-minute remote learning school day.
Some teachers struggled to concert the day's learning online, which makes for a less effective school day said the chief communication director Devra Ashby.
"We know students learn best face-to-face and so we are going to be very judicious on how we determine school days and snow days and remote learning days moving forward," said Ashby.
She said once the district's remote learning effectiveness is perfected, remote learning school days could return.
Seniors, McConnaughey and Lukens, said they hope this new policy sticks around for generations to come.
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