Pro: Flexible Instructional Days prevent extended school year

To keep students on pace for the school year, the implementation of FIDs makes up for lost time due to inclement weather. FIDs also prevent the school year from extending well into June if there are more closures than normal.


**Cartoon by Miranda Razzi**

By implementing Flexible Instructional Days (FIDs), the school district is preventing lost instructional time during inclement weather and reducing lost vacation days for both students and faculty.
The purpose of FIDs is to have asynchronous education whenever there are school closures. FIDs began to be implemented after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools across the country were able to transition education online to protect their students.
According to CNN, the use of technology may help mitigate some of the workload students will bring home on snow days. Downloadable assignments can replace paper copies and textbooks are available online.
On a ‘perfect’ snow day, students will still have internet access and be able to complete their assignments for the day without breaking the schedule.
According to Trib Total Media, the Freeport Area School District, located in Pa., approved the FID program to prevent further schedule losses during the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIDs can be important for students with AP courses, who are planning to take exams for college credit at the end of the year. For these students, many missed days can add up and make them feel behind for their May exams.
Education Week cited a Harvard study that claimed snow days also were detrimental to a student’s schedule. While having a snow day once in a while does not severely impact learning, long term closures can lead to students falling behind.
Even opening schools during inclement weather is worse than having a snow day because many students will miss school and their classes will move on without them.
FIDs can mitigate this issue. Using them will allow all students to continue their studies in situations where they are prevented from having a traditional learning environment.
Of course, not every snow day will become a FID. Some school districts, like schools in Camden, Maine, only built two remote learning days into their school year. Souderton has currently implemented a maximum of five FIDs.
Remote learning will not completely replace snow days, but they will act as a way to buffer lost time in the year without having to make it up.
FIDs can provide an opportunity for learning when students would have lost time. Of course, FIDs are only possible some times. Snow days are still a necessity because some storms can cause outages and other disasters where learning should not take place.
FIDs can also lead to more flexible learning options for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities may not be able to go into school every day and FIDs and online learning make it possible for them to continue their education, even if they cannot physically be there.
According to Online Bachelor’s Degrees, online learning has made school more accessible for students with physical disabilities because it removes physical exhaustion and makes learning materials easier to access.