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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

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AMI Days: Here’s Why

Why students who want more break time should favor the ‘virtual snow day’
AMI+Days%3A+Heres+Why
Alyssa Johnston

There is something truly special about snow days. Everything about that day off of school was perfect as a kid: waking up to a bright room lit up by the white snow, taking five minutes to bundle up in layers, eager to run outside. The two hours spent outside playing with your siblings or neighbors, followed by coming back to your home, throwing your wet clothes at the door, and waiting for hot chocolate to cool off. 

Then, a pandemic brought online meets to school’s attention, and now we spend two hours on google meets instead of having the whole day off. When I heard that we would now have to meet online on snow days, I, of course, wished for anything else. I believed that the magic of the snow day was now gone, and the kids who grow up on virtual “AMI” days will never have that type of joy experienced by generations before them.

Then I was reminded that this meant we don’t have to take off days for summer. 

More time has passed since I learned about online snow days, and after considering both options, I now know where I stand. AMI days are the way to go.

 

The online snow day schedule, adopted by the Mehlville School District since the 2021-22 school year. From the Mehlville High School website.

 

Virtual days may not be as bad as they seem

Firstly, two hours of your time online doesn’t exactly kill the magic of snow days. While your time from 9-11 a.m. may be taken up, you have the rest of the day off to relax, or for kids to play outside. This is essentially a break for us, as that is five hours off of required school time. 

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love our time off on snow days. Our memories from snow days are filled with warm drinks, sleeping in and fun in the snow. The snow itself makes the snow day memorable and leaves a lot of people wanting to hold on to a traditional snow day to preserve classic happy memories. However, emotions change when we’re off from the weather, but there is no snow at all. 

As I’m writing (Jan. 22, 2024), we are on an AMI day right now, yet there is almost no snow seen on the ground. Instead, we have slick icy streets stopping school. When I woke up, my first thoughts were not “Look how pretty it is outside,” or “What a nice day to go out and shovel snow.” When all you see is ice, you may lose the excitement of everything the snow brings, and it’s just a bleak school day off, at home. Without AMI days, though, this also means a day off of summer, instead of this shorter day. 

 

 

AMI Days: Summer’s Savior

According to the Missouri Department of Secondary education, “A local education agency (in our case, the local education agency/LEA would refer to the board of education) will not be required to make up school hours that are lost or canceled due to exceptional or emergency circumstances (up to 36 hours) if the LEA implements an Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) Plan…” This policy states that school hours don’t need to be made up if we have AMI days. The first snow days are not excused — they must be made up — and AMI does just this. The options are to either make up these days later in the school year or implement virtual days.

Let’s put it this way. With a traditional snow day, we have the same amount of time in school, with a delay of when that school time comes. We may feel initial happiness with a snow day, but a delayed disappointment of more school time at the end of the year. With the AMI system, we have an initial disappointment of having to do school, but overall we are actually given more break time by keeping the day in summer. 

Adding a day to summer also poses another problem: pushing the end of school out too far. Graduation is set for June 2, and according to the district calendar, three snow days would push the last day of school to June 3. 

Graduation should be a monumental end to school for the seniors who have spent most of their lives in school and are now moving on. Many of us seniors see graduation as a final step away from high school forever. With three snow days in a year, we would go to school, experience graduation…and then come back for another day. This means we would spend the weekend celebrating the end of childhood and beginning of adulthood, only to go right back to childhood.

What’s more is that unless every class changes plans, this day would end up being a day for taking finals. If so, it may bring back some of the worst parts of school to some, without the fulfillment and payoff of graduation afterwards. If that hypothetical school day after graduation wasn’t an important test day, then all the school should expect is for there to be a lot of ‘sick’ seniors. 

For now, don’t worry about these problems, though, because we no longer need to take days away from summer. We have a way to keep the schedule going as planned. Though a virtual snow day might not seem fun at first, just think about what it can do for you in the long run and the problems the alternative can bring you. 

 

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About the Contributor
Sawyer Bess, Reporter
Hello, I'm Sawyer Bess, and it's my first year on the newspaper staff. This is also my third year in the broadcast program. I am a senior at OHS, and other programs I am involved in include Youth and Government, golf and I'm our school's mascot. After I graduate high school, I plan to enjoy my summer and then attend college, majoring in journalism at Mizzou.

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