Over the past few weeks, Pittsburgh and cities across the country have experienced large amounts of snowfall and freezing rain. In fact, the most recent storm to hit Pittsburgh tied a 1982 record for most snowfall in a single day, with some areas seeing up to six inches of snow. Pittsburgh has gotten 48.4 inches of snowfall so far- the whole season average is 25.5 inches. 

In spite of this, Avonworth High School and others across the region have had few delays or cancellation. School continues to roll on, and snow days seem to be a thing of the past. Due to increased use of virtual platforms, schools have moved to all-online, live teaching days instead. 

via National Weather Service Pittsburgh on Twitter

 

Avonworth itself had a different snow-day program before the covid-19 pandemic created the model we see today. FID days had students complete assigned work on their own time, rather than attending live classes, on snow days, as the district alerted families to during both pivots to remote learning in February

Both models have their own strengths and weaknesses. 

 

Live teaching provides students with a structured day, possibly leading to better focus. It may also function to keep bad weather from interrupting teachers’ lesson plans. It can be tiring, though, to add yet another day in front of a screen to an already google-meet-heavy existence. 

FID days allow students to be more flexible, getting work done on their own schedules. This structure is more enjoyable for a lot of students, as it allows them to sleep in and have independence during the day. Moreover, these days allow students to enjoy sledding and hot cocoa with friends, pandemic notwithstanding. Snow days were an important part of many students’ childhoods, and it’s sad to think that they may be coming to an end. 

In the snowiest winter since the mid 1990’s, the courtyard pond keeps bubbling through a sheet of ice. Normally open for access throughout the year, and maintained by Bio teacher Mr. Haskins, the courtyard has had almost no activity on a daily basis. Mr. Haskins is on sabbatical for the 2nd semester of 2021, with Mr. Shoats as his substitute. Photo by Dylan Teale. 

 

With over a month left in Pittsburgh’s wintry season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another snow day come our way. The best we can do is stay warm, stay safe, and keep Meeting on!

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