Learning in a Winter Wonderland

Snow days at OHS

Looking+forward+to+Winter+Break+with+snow+in+the+air+at+OHS.

Olivia Vieths

Looking forward to Winter Break with snow in the air at OHS.

Olivia Vieths, Writer

As the temperature cools, the snow day excitement grows. More students start thinking about snow days, constantly checking the weather reports brings the classroom together. Updates on school closures for snow days can be found on most news stations. Snow Day Calculator can often be seen across students’ Chromebooks the day before a snowstorm is supposed to hit. More accurate weather reports can be found on the National Weather Service website.

Large amounts of snow, typically a minimum of six inches, are needed for a snow day, however, there are many factors that play into getting a snow day that do not include snow.The school district works with the bus company to see if students can be safely transported to their school. Wind speed and when the plow crews can get to the roads also factor into snow days. 

Distance learning has been implemented in the last few years to prevent adding days onto the school year due to an abundance of snow days. The minimum amount of instructional hours mandated by the Minnesota Department of Education is 1,020 this for students in the seventh grade and up. If a district is under the hours needed, they will have to add days onto the school year. This causes the Owatonna School District to have a maximum of two snow days a year. Any other day where snow forces us to stay home is a distance learning day. On distance learning days, students should check in on Infinite Campus and check schoology or connect with their teachers. Assignments should be posted by the time the class would start.

As a Minnesotan, I still enjoy the magic of snowstorms and enjoying the winter weather. The distance learning option takes away the possibility of having to extend the school year or take away spring break days”

— Superintendent Jeff Elstad

Many people feel nostalgic about snow days. Sleeping in and building snowmen adds to the joy they feel after getting an unexpected day off of school. Senior Cole Piepho said, “Snow days give me the opportunity to sleep in and go sledding with my friends. I look forward to them and the fun it brings.” However, the Owatonna School District only gets two snow days a year, the rest are distance learning. It may be disappointing but it is very beneficial to students to only allow two snow days. Superintendent Jeff Elstad said, “As a Minnesotan, I still enjoy the magic of snowstorms and enjoying the winter weather. The distance learning option takes away the possibility of having to extend the school year or take away spring break days.” Owatonna students can still appreciate the snow days without extending the school year.