‘This is one thing our kids won’t lose this year’: School district gives virtual students snow day

Traffic on route 176 southbound at the Flying Hills exit in Pennsylvania during a snowstorm Monday morning December 14, 2020. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

School superintendent Bondy Gibson said she will not deprive her district’s students of a snow day, despite the fact that many are learning from home amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Gibson sent a letter to parents saying schools will be closed Dec. 16 due to Winter Storm Gail heading up the East Coast. The area is under a winter storm warning, with some neighborhoods expected to see up to 18 inches of snow starting Wednesday.

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“For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy,” Gibson wrote. “It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life.”

Jefferson County schools are allowed to hold in-person instruction as long as coronavirus cases remain low in the county. The district offers a virtual academy for parents not willing to send their children to the classroom just yet.

Gibson said she made the snow day decision because 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have already taken so much away from children and their families. 

“It has been a year of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss,” she explained in her letter. “For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year.”

RELATED: Nor'easter expected to bring significant snow Wednesday, winter storm warnings issued

She ended the message with encouragement for families to take a break, snap pictures of their children in the snow, go sledding or drink hot chocolate by the fireplace. She reminded parents that their children will quickly grow up. 

“We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow…go build a snowman,” she wrote.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.