Snow days mark first since return to in-person learning


Rohin Dahiya

A thin layer of ice and sleet covered the parking lot at Walt Whitman High School on Monday.

By Sonya Rashkovan

MCPS closed its academic buildings Monday and Tuesday and delayed school openings by two hours Wednesday due to a winter storm that left Montgomery County covered in approximately seven inches of snow.

 On Sunday night, the school district closed schools for Monday in advance of the inclement weather. After the storm hit, they extended the school closure one day due to ongoing work to remove ice and snow from county roads.

Student instruction and community activities in school buildings on Monday and Tuesday did not take place. School administrative offices, central offices and day-care programs opened on a two-hour delay.

This marked the first snow days since the return to in-person learning. While a systemwide school building closure occurred due to icy conditions last school year, students continued learning on Zoom that day.

Student Member of the Board of Education Hana O’Looney said that the school district decided to close the schools instead of transitioning to virtual learning to avoid putting pressure on teachers to suddenly shift their instruction to a different format.

Ice covers a local street on Monday (Maddie Kaltman)

Since the school district successfully implemented online learning last year, junior Julie Bravo was concerned that MCPS would require that students learn via Zoom during snow days going forward. Bravo was relieved that MCPS gave students time off, she said.

“I was scared that this year there wouldn’t be any snow days because the virtual option was available,” Bravo said. “I am happy that the snow days have returned because they are always a nice, unexpected day off from school that helps with preventing burnout.”

Similarly, sophomore Lauren Kim said she was excited to enjoy the snow and spend time with friends during the time off. 

“I am happy that MCPS has returned snow days because it made it safer for people who would have had to drive to work or school,” Kim said. “Some people like me just want an extra day to relax before school.”