FCPS Makes Changes to Snow Day Plans

Caleb Faulkerson, CavCulture Editor

Ah, snow days. Love them or hate them, it often seems no school year is complete without at least a few. Whether caused by 26 inches of snow sealing you in your house, or an icy glaze that’s made the roads more slippery than usual, snow days have traditionally provided brief, annual respites to students across FCPS. However, over the past month, there have been suggestions to alter the FCPS calendar and the nature of potential snow days therein. 

Graphic by Zainab Rentia.

The most glaring evidence of this came in the form of a county-wide poll distributed on November 3 to get student opinions on possible alterations to the FCPS calendar. In said poll, students throughout the FCPS school district were able to express their views in relation to off-days and the length of the 2022-2023 school year. For instance, one question asked participants if they would prefer snow days over full breaks (i.e. a two week long Winter Break) despite the fact that, according to an FCPS announcement on October 19, inclement weather days after five snow days will be virtual to “maintain continuity of learning” this year.

Luke Eister, a senior at Woodson, prefers the full break alternative, suggesting that “FCPS stick with a schedule that guarantees full breaks and a few snow days.” Brett Breslin, also a senior and lifelong Fairfax native, was inclined to agree, but also noted that “the joy of a snow day should never go away.” 

Dr. Paula Disalvo, a Woodson administrator, seconds Brett’s belief, going so far as to say “snow days should remain off days, neither online or asynchronous.” However, that raises the question: if the joy of snow days should be preserved while also allowing for full breaks such as a two-week Winter Break, shouldn’t some sacrifices be made? Not necessarily.

“FCPS should take how exactly other districts are changing their schedules into consideration in order to be in alignment with schools across VA,” continued Dr. Disalvo. “Schools in New Kent County and Hopewell City have already extended their Thanksgiving breaks to last a full week, even without extending their school years.” 

In short, snow days do not necessarily mean more school days. Even though it’s unclear whether or not FCPS will continue to poll students before making drastic alterations to the schedule, students can remain hopeful that, given trends in other areas, FCPS may yet respect the sanctity of all snow days. For now though, students throughout the county remain frozen in place anticipating this year’s first snow.