For a kid (or teacher) in school there is nothing better than a snow day, but educators have been concerned with how an unexpected day off might impact a student’s education. A new study examined the impact of snow days on how students learn, and the results are promising for kids who want a day off.
Harvard Kennedy School assistant professor Joshua Goodman, himself a former school teacher, was asked by the Massachusetts Department of Education to study the impact of snow days on a student’s education. He looked at data from grades three through 10 between 2003 and 2010, and says that not only does closing school for a snow day not negatively impact a student’s education, but keeping the school open while its snowing can be worse.
While schools factor snow closures into their annual schedules and can make up the days later, if a school stays open during a storm, some students may still miss school. Goodman says:
[Schools] need to consider the downside when deciding not to declare a snow day during a storm—the fact that many kids will miss school regardless, either because of transportation issues or parental discretion. And because those absences typically aren’t made up in the school calendar, those kids can fall behind.
Keep that in mind next time it snows and you’re not sure if they’ll be closing schools. Maybe they should.
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