If you’re a Canadian kid, you know there’s nothing more exciting than a snow day. It’s the best part of what can be a long and grueling winter.
But for New Brunswick students, snow days as you know them could be numbered.
“We should be looking at ways that we can make sure that first and foremost our kids safety is protected, but then that we give teachers the resources to be able to give kids ‘blizzard bags’ as they call them in some places,” explains Minister of Education Dominic Cardy.
Blizzard bags are assignments to be completed on a day when technically kids should be in class anyway. It’s a move that’s left the province’s education minister skating on thin ice with some teens.
“I just feel like if it’s a snow day, I get to stay home. I don’t need to worry about school, and all of the sudden, bam, there you go, you have to worry about school again,” explains Saint John student Kayden Paris.
Before students start marching outside the New Brunswick legislature, it’s important to note that it’s just an idea that Cardy would like to discuss with stakeholders during an education summit in May.
“We’ve got to try to be creative, cost-effective and make sure our kids get the best start they can,” adds Cardy. “That’s why we want to have that big meeting in May and really have a good look at our system in depth, where do we need to go from here to make it world class.”
The number of snow days a year depends on where you live in the province. For example, in Anglophone East there were seven district closures last year.
Recent statistics show that with the exception of Manitoba, Grade 8 students in New Brunswick lag behind their Canadian counterparts in reading. The Higgs government has made it clear that improving literacy rates is a top priority, even if that means hitting the books instead of digging tunnels in the snow.