Presidents day shouldn’t be the day

There is no such thing in schools as a snow day if making up school on Presidents’ Day is any indicator. 

Utah had a snowstorm on February 3, which was a scheduled school day across the state. However, several districts, including Canyons School District, decided to delay or not have school on that day because of the storm.

Of course, that isn’t the problem. Traffic on that day was a mess and it’s not like Utah’s districts call a snow day very often.

The problem is how Canyons decided to make up that day. Of all the days they could have picked, they chose Presidents’ Day.

Presidents’ Day started in 1885, when, according to the National Archives’ website, “Congress designated February 22 [George Washington’s birthday] as a holiday for all Federal workers.” 

It’s one thing to get the make-up day over with when it is required by law. In fact, it’s better to do it now than wait until the end of May.

“Under Utah law, public schools must conduct school for at least 990 instructional hours over a minimum of 180 days each academic year, and recover any days lost due to inclement weather,” Canyons website explained.

However, the problem lies in the fact that Presidents’ Day is seen as a part of a three-day weekend, meaning both students’ parents and teachers plan vacations around it. With this in mind, more substitutes watched over classrooms that did not have many students, to begin with.

The purpose of a make-up day is to get back on track and catch up with the curriculum. This snow day may have had teachers here teaching students, but it was still a half-day of learning with one-hour of lunch and then student support time for another hour. That’s not what a make-up day looks like.

Ms. Grass, a business teacher at Hillcrest, explained, “With lots of kids missing, it made it difficult for teachers to use the day in a productive way.” 

There are many better days to have made this snow day up. The option that stands out, in particular, is to have had the make-up near the end of school when the “movie” days start. While it is true that not all teachers spend the last days of the school year with nothing to teach, it’s impossible to deny that the last few days of the year are “fluff.”

Science teacher Mr. Flanigan, stated, “I expected that attendance would be low because students knew I would be gone and just show a movie.”

Most students come to school to learn, not to be babysat. In fact, some of these teenagers are old enough to babysit themselves. Having one less “fluff” day may not seem like much, but it’s better than having a workday on a day where very few students show up.