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Thursday, December 1, 2022
ArlingtonEditorial: Make every day of school count

Editorial: Make every day of school count

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Unless things get really bad, snowstorm-wise, Arlington Public Schools does not plan to revert to “virtual” learning during inclement-weather days this winter, but rather rely on the tried and true snow days that have been a staple of childhood for generations.

And we find it hard to quibble with that – the chances that students (or teachers, for that matter) will cotton to firing up their computers and trying to squeeze in a day’s worth of learning while snow piles up outside seem a little low. So no complaint there.

But (and you knew a “but” was coming), we do have a complaint, particularly given students’ calamitous learning loss owing to the too-long pandemic shutdowns.

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Arlington officials say they have built seven days into the calendar that can be used for inclement weather while still allowing the school system to meet the minimum requirement for annual instruction under state law. So those first seven days won’t be made up, and anything after that will move to an online format, challenging as such an approach to education has proved to be.

Once again, it’s a public-school system angling to meet the minimum requirements handed down from Richmond, nothing more. And given that, these days, school leaders cancel classes if a snowflake is spotted within 50 miles, one presumes those seven snow days are sure to be used up. (And if by chance they aren’t? We’ve seen years in the local area where students are let out earlier in June because they didn’t need the built-in snow days in winter. There are no guarantees that won’t happen here.)

Parents have every reason to wonder why Arlington school leaders are so insistent on sticking to the bare minimum required, even as American students continue to trail their counterparts – and our military/economic competitors – across the globe.

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