At the beginning of November, LOSD and the Lake Oswego Education Association (LOEA) decided that the majority of classes will continue synchronously in the event of winter weather during this school year. If individual teachers lose power or internet connectivity, their classes will occur asynchronously.
“The decision was made because the District did not want to add any more days to the school year in June to make up for snow days. The Oregon Department of Education requires students to be in classes for a certain number of hours each year, which is why we would have to make up days in June if we lost any time due to snow days. Typically, students in LOSD attend more hours of class than needed, but this year, because of our special schedule for classes, we are just meeting our hourly requirements and have no extra hours to lose,” said LOEA president, Kelly Fitzsimmons.
Even though the desired outcome was clear for both the LOEA and LOSD, Fitzsimmons still recognizes that many will miss having snow days this year.
She shared, “While it was a bit of a sad prospect to lose those magical snow days, we agreed with the District that it would be better to carry on with classes than to add more days in June. I believe our future selves will thank us for this when summer vacation is on the horizon, though it might be a disappointing reality to face now.”
This sentiment is not necessarily felt by everyone affected by this policy change. Some students are annoyed by the prospect of losing their beloved snow days, longing for a sense of normalcy during a time that differs so greatly from normal life.
Sophomore Joshua Tae said, “I don’t think it’s the right decision because… snow days are important. Not only does it give students a break from school, but it’s also an extra day for people to catch up on homework and relax. During these times, mental health plays a huge role in everyday life, especially with school being online, and kids need to take the time to take care of themselves.”
Similar to Fitzsimmons, other students have mixed emotions about giving up their time off. Caitlin Sirrine gave a senior’s perspective on the topic.
“It doesn’t really feel like winter without at least one good snow day… but we have already missed some school and we have a limited amount that we can miss [in total]. I don’t want to be in school any longer than I have to as a senior. Overall, I think it’s the right decision though, especially with us getting asynchronous afternoons on Wednesdays,” she said.
Even though not everyone welcomes the resolution of this issue, it will most likely not change. It is now in a written contract between LOSD and LOEA, so it is improbable that students’ complaints will be heard.