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Does the Pandemic Mean The End Of Snow Days In New Hampshire Schools?

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Snow is on its way to New Hampshire, but some schools say students and parents shouldn’t expect a snow day to come with it.

With tens of thousands of Granite State students now learning at home, superintendents now have to decide if a snow day is warranted. Some say it isn't.

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The Exeter School District told families that if inclement weather makes travel difficult, they will have a “Snow Learning Day,” with assignments posted on the district’s remote learning platforms.

Mark McLaughlin, superintendent of the already-remote Merrimack School District, said power outages could cause connectivity issues for teachers and students, but school was still on.

"We are pleased to maintain the continuity of learning in spite of the upcoming storm," he wrote to families.

The pandemic has primed schools for at-home learning, but that doesn't mean all of them are eager to forgo a traditional snow day.

Dr. Timothy Powers, the headmaster of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, decided to call a snow day - in part, for people's mental health.

"It’s a chance to go out and have fun in the snow and shovel your neighbor’s driveway or cuddle up with a book by a fire and read and watch the snow fall,” he said.

MaryAnn Connors-Krikorian, Derry's superintendent, also canceled school.

"It is my hope that students will have fun, take time to enjoy the outdoors, and create childhood memories," she wrote to families

Gov. Chris Sununu appears to agree. On Facebook, he wrote “Snow Day = Snow Day. I hope kids in NH will get the chance to get off the screens and into the snow tomorrow."

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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