The return of snow days

Co-News Editor Vivian Polgreen investigates why the ICCSD has reintroduced snow days.


Owen Aanestad

The West High parking lot sits empty as snow removal crews start to clear the snow on Feb. 7, 2021.

One of the many things that students missed out on due to COVID-19 was snow days. However, on Jan. 6, students in the Iowa Community School district received their first snow day in two years.

In order to keep students and staff safe in hazardous weather conditions, the decision to delay or cancel school is based upon several different factors. Generally, cold days and late starts occur when you could get frostbite if you are outside for 30 minutes or less. Snow days occur if there are hazardous conditions that would make it difficult for students, staff and busses to get to school safely.



During the 2020-2021 school year, the ICCSD was able to forgo snow days, because they were able to send students online. But this year, the school district was not given a decision on whether to continue to have virtual days because of dangerous weather.

“Last year, for the first time ever, the State allowed districts to conduct virtual learning days (i.e. online school) on snow days. ICCSD took advantage of that change and conducted online school on snow days. However, the State is not allowing districts to do that this year,” said Iowa City Education Association President Brady Shutt.

Since the decision not to allow virtual school days to be held as an alternative to canceling school, the ICCSD has returned to the policies it had before the pandemic.

“I think that calling school off for inclement/severe weather days is a very necessary function.  It was nice to have the flexibility to use virtual learning days last year so that we did not need to make up the time, but I also understand the desire and need for some to have a true day away from school when that circumstance presents itself,” said ICCSD Superintendent Matt Degner.