Winter has officially arrived in West Virginia — and one school superintendent is making sure that families have the opportunity to embrace the moment.
In a letter to the community on Jefferson County Schools' website, superintendent Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson announced that all schools would be closed for students, staff and faculty on Wednesday in honor of the first snowfall of the year.
Gibson said she was making the decision in hopes that families could "make some memories" in the snow and enjoy the day together after a particularly difficult year "of seemingly endless loss and the stress of trying to make up for that loss."
"For generations, families have greeted the first snow day of the year with joy," Gibson wrote. "It is a time of renewed wonder at all the beautiful things that each season holds. A reminder of how fleeting a childhood can be. An opportunity to make some memories with your family that you hold on to for life."
"For all of these reasons and many more, Jefferson County Schools will be completely closed for tomorrow, Dec. 16, in honor of the 1st snow day of the year," the superintendent continued. "Closed for students… closed for virtual… closed for staff."
"For just a moment, we can all let go of the worry of making up for the many things we missed by making sure this is one thing our kids won’t lose this year," she added.
Finishing her heartfelt note, Gibson encouraged students and families to partake in snow activities before returning to reality on Thursday.
"So please, enjoy a day of sledding and hot chocolate and cozy fires," she wrote. "Take pictures of your kids in snow hats they will outgrow by next year and read books that you have wanted to lose yourself in, but haven’t had the time."
"We will return to the serious and urgent business of growing up on Thursday, but for tomorrow…go build a snowman," she finished.
Jefferson County Schools is located in Charles Town, on the eastern border of West Virginia, near Maryland.
The city and surrounding areas are currently being hit with a winter storm that is expected to bring 3-5 inches of snow during the day before getting another 5-8 inches Wednesday evening, according to The Weather Channel.
Gibson's announcement comes in the wake of many schools across the country debating how to approach snow days as winter nears.
Some have already said snow days will become a thing of the past so as not to sacrifice instructional time, while others, like Jefferson County, are sticking by the tradition in the name of nostalgia and mental health amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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