Remote learning adds new wrinkle to snow day planning


Photo by WTOP/Rick Massimo

With the winter months now upon us, many students may be wondering how Burke plans to handle the possibility of snow days. Some local schools and school districts already have plans in place, but Burke did not make an official announcement until just before the first major snowfall of the season. 

Many counties in Maryland and Virginia already have plans for if there are snow days, and most of them include continuing online school during a snow day. For Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, they stated that school would continue virtually on a snow day unless there was a power outage and in that case schools would be canceled. Both Alexandria and Arlington Counties in Virginia have similar plans, stating that school will continue online in the event of a snow day where it is unsafe for students to travel. Fairfax County, Virginia and DC Public schools do not yet have formal plans. 

Burke Head of School Damian Jones, spoke with confidence when it came to Burke’s plan for online school and how it relates to snow days. He first stated that “it is still a matter [school administrators] have to continue to explore, but preliminarily, we have talked about how we might handle snow days.”

He then added onto his point by saying, “If we think that we are going to experience a snow event where the city may be shut down or greater Washington may be immobilized for a period of two days or more, then we would have to go to snow days because there are some things people need to gain access to here at school that they won’t be able to gain access to, so we would have to have a snow day in place so that we could get people ready in order to move towards remote learning because what we would not want to do is to have any interruption to the operation of school for more than two days.”

When a multi-day winter storm hit the DMV area starting on January 31st, many schools had to put their plans into action. DCPS pushed back its planned return for in-person students from February 1st to 2nd due to the snow and ice. Similarly, in the Burke community, school was remote on Tuesday, February 2nd, and Team Mooskin did not go in. This came just after an announcement in “This Week At Burke” email that school would continue remotely in the event of a snow day. For some Team Mooskin students, the 2nd would’ve been their first day back in the building, but due to the snow they had to wait until Thursday the 4th.