Snow Days-Fun Now, Consequences Later?


Snow days, slip-n-slides, moon bounces, all of these are a child’s dream come true. Sure these days are filled with fun days filled with hot cocoa, igloos, and snowmen, but what is the real effect these days have on the education for students? The time lost in school is not the only thing that has an effect on the students, the instability and changing in schedule can have longer-term effects on the students. Education Next’s study of snow days and their effects in state that experience a comparable amount of snow proved some interesting results. They “estimate that each additional inch of snow in a winter reduced the percentage of 3rd-, 5th-, and 8th-grade students who passed math assessments by between one-half and seven-tenths of a percentage point, or just under 0.0025 standard deviations. To put that seemingly small impact in context, Marcotte reports that in winters with average levels of snowfall (about 17 inches) the share of students testing proficient is about 1 to 2 percentage points lower than in winters with little to no snow.”

Although this may not seem like a lot, its effects can make more of an impact later on in the education process. Want to learn more about snow days and their effects? Check out authors of Education Next’s article “Time for School?” Dave E. Marcotte and Benjamin Hansen to learn more.


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