Snow days could be on the way out, and for once, it’s not because of climate change or La Niña. School districts all over, especially New York, are considering the future and technological strides made during the COVID-19 pandemic – in particular, the spread of technology among students and the growing familiarity with distance learning – could render closures unnecessary in almost every situation.

“Snow and cold days, with the distribution of technology across the district and the ability to communicate using our Office 365 platform, on a day that's referred to as a snow day but often lately a cold day because temperatures are frigid, we may be able to sign in, sign on, and go to work,” Niagara Falls City Schools Superintendent Mark Laurrie told WBEN in Buffalo, New York.

Laurrie did further specify that snow days would not go away completely, but would be reserved for only the most extreme circumstances, such as when schools and homes lose power due to the weather.

The hammer has already come down on snow days for schools in New York City. On Monday, NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza confirmed that in the event of heavy snow this school year, families should expect to move to remote learning instead of getting a day off. Prior to this, similar decisions were made in Winchester, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland.

“On ‘snow days’—or days in which school buildings are closed due to an emergency—all students and families should plan on participating in remote learning,” Carranza explained in a note to students and families.

Snowstorm Scientists predict that snowstorms in the U.S. could decrease dramatically in the last decade of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to run unabated. Photo: Chemose / Flickr