Snowed in

I grew up in the shadow of the Gateway Arch - the massive weather manipulation machine - in Belleville, Illinois. As a result of the Arch Effect pushing and diverting  storm tracks north and south, Belleville would sometimes end up with an heroic amount of snowfall.

When the weather called for snow, my sister and I would tune in to WIBV-AM or KMOX-AM on our bedroom clock radios and listen for the station personnel to announce "Saint Henry's Grade School - Closed" before turning off our alarms and sleeping in.

Sometimes, our principal would wait to see what happened with the public school busses. If the busses were delayed or not running, we wouldn't find out about a snow day until 5am or 6am the following morning. At that point, teachers would start the phone tree to notify parents, who would in turn notify other parents.

As for the kids? Well, everyone would ultimately end up at Bellevue Memorial Park and sled down a giant hill by the lake with all of our friends. Good times.

In a COVID world, that's not happening anymore.

No more snow days

All the air has been sucked out of the excitement of snow days with the introduction of virtual/remote learning. All of the kids are issued Chromebooks by the school and can use online learning platforms to connect for both synchronous and asynchronous sessions.

An image meme of someone reaching for a balloon that says "snow days" in the first panel, and in the second panel the person is being hugged tightly by a monster that's labeled "remote learning."
Sorry, kids - you don't get snow days anymore.

Our school district notifies parents via SMS, automated phone call, and email about the move to remote learning. The kids are sent a note with their lesson plans to their school email addresses.

All Families in the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District,

Once again, MRH will enact its remote instruction plan (AMI: Alternative Methods of Instruction) for all students on Thursday, February 3. Building leaders at the High School, Middle School, Elementary School and Early Childhood Center will communicate learning expectations for students via email.

The silver lining is that both kids will wrap up virtual learning today around 2pm when the snow is expected to taper and stop.

Then it's time to sled.

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