Snow days make triumphant return to Knox County Schools – kind of


Olivia Marshall

Knoxville did not end up getting as much snow as was forecasted, but students still appreciated the opportunity to return to traditional snow days.

One of the many opportunities that Bearden students missed out on in the 2020-21 school year was snow days.

However, on Thursday, KCS students experienced their first snow day off from school in nearly two years.

When Knox County Schools used all 10 allotted inclement weather days in August of 2020 to give staff additional time to prepare for virtual instruction, it meant snow days last year turned into virtual days. 

Students were required to attend virtual school and complete assignments through Canvas and Microsoft Teams. This hybrid instruction added pressure to educators to turn their homes into virtual classrooms.

Last year, I would have videos of me teaching lessons for students to watch on their own, which took quite a bit of time for me to make those videos,” math teacher Mrs. Lauren Sanderson said. “If I ever thought there was a chance of snow in the forecast, I would bring my document camera home with my notes printed out in order to record a video of me teaching lessons. 

“Then, I would set up a Teams meeting to see if my students had any questions after watching the video. It was very hard making videos while I had a toddler constantly talking in the background.”

Virtual learning was not only a challenge for teachers, but for students as well.

“I don’t think that in-person students were benefiting from the [virtual] days because it got somewhat confusing over the computer,” sophomore Abby Kelton said. “I don’t do well learning virtually, and I think that some students learn better when they are taught in person and they are able to get help.”

The impromptu break from instruction last week was welcomed amongst Bearden students, giving them a reason to miss school that did not have anything to do with the ever looming Covid-19.

“I’m happy with the return of snow days because it’s just less stressful, and it doesn’t make sickness being the number one priority while we are out of school,” freshman Elizabeth Newman said. “It’s a chance to have fun on those snow days.”

Last week on Wednesday, Knoxville’s forecast showed a potential of 2-4 inches of snow. Needless to say, that forecast ended up not panning out, but Bearden staff and students still made the most of the little snow on the ground.

Sophomore William Richards said went snowboarding with his friends to make the most of the snow days.

“I like the snow,” Richards said. “It’s nice and cold.”

Mrs. Sanderson was able to spend the two days making lifelong memories with her daughters.

“I definitely enjoyed the two snow days that we had,” she said. “I went tubing down our back hill in the snow with my oldest daughter, and we made a snowman.”