Snow days are demons in disguise

Snigda Narisetty, Creative Editor

Snow days have been abundant this year with the polar vortex striking the Midwest hard and fast. Teachers and district officials have been especially worried about the education of students K-12 being impacted negatively. While most students have been very happy about missing school, high school students have been struggling to catch up with their class schedules. Although it was nice to have a few extra days to study for exams, it got a little annoying when exam week, the least liked week of the year, lasted almost three whole weeks. If only this was the sole issue with the series of school cancellations brought on by the polar vortex: since the Portage Public Schools curriculum for high schoolers is very rigorous, there is usually barely any wiggle room to spare even one day to extreme weather conditions, much less 10.

Having having a whole week and a half in between the 3rd and 4th hour exams left many  students at a disadvantage. The long break caused them to lose some of the material that they had been studying, but since they had already studied, they didn’t feel like they needed to study again. “I would study very hard for an important exam and then the next day would be a snow day, so I would study again but not as efficiently as I did the first day,” says junior David Le. “My efforts in studying decreased as more snow days came.”

On top of struggling with the midterm exams, many of the juniors and seniors have had their noses to the grindstone with their IB courses. Even though the courses offered by the school can be prolonged if too much school is missed, IB courses have set exam days with little availability for days to spare. Since the exams cannot be moved, the teachers have been scrambling to make sure all of the material will be fit into the schedule in time for testing days. “I feel like the teachers are rushing to get everything in and not taking time to make sure we understand it,” Senior Abbi Gaertner says. “Conceptually, students aren’t gaining as much knowledge as they should be in IB classes.”

In tangent to the IB exams, the mandatory IB coursework, like internal and external assessments, has due dates that cannot be moved. “Being an IB diploma candidate, the snow days have definitely allowed me days to relax,” says Junior Malia Sinkler. “However, having so many of them has made it difficult to stay on task, especially with immovable deadlines for big assignments.”

All in all, although the snow days have allowed students a break from the highschool grind, it has also pushed more work and pressure on them in the long run. We should be hoping for the weather to warm up soon so that we can escape the threat of snow days, which are really demons in disguise.