Snow day! Da Silva makes an early call for Ridgefield's kids

Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva

Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva

Contributed photo / Hearst Connecticut Media

Snow day! Not even any “remote learning” Thursday.

“The snow is coming, the snow is coming, the snow is coming!” Ridgefield Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva wrote in an email to school families Wednesday. =

And with no snow falling yet, but a foot or more predicted, she declared Thursday, Dec. 17 the Ridgefield Public Schools first snow day of the 2020-21 school year. Schools and offices are closed to students, faculty and staff. There will be no remote learning Thursday. After-school classes are canceled or postponed.

The snow day pushes the scheduled last day of school to June 14, 2021.

Da Silva also made Friday, Dec. 18, a “remote learning” day for all students — meaning school buildings will not be open, and students will attend classes over the Internet. Friday had been scheduled as the last day of in-school classes before remote learning days on Monday Dec. 21 to Wednesday, Dec. 23 lead into the holiday break.

“Schools will be a full or delayed remote learning day, so long as conditions (e.g. power, internet connectivity) in and out of Ridgefield allow for an appropriate student learning experience.

“If we are unable to achieve this goal, a traditional snow day with no remote learning will be announced, and the last day of school will then be June 15.”

Da Silva’s email to the school community is a bit philosophical. And as she muses about snows days, Da Silva — in her first job as a school system’s superintendent, the ultimate boss who makes the calls — sounds like someone who remembers what a gift an unexpected day off can seem like to a kid.

“We all have our own fond memories of the snow day traditions,” she wrote, “waking up early to look out the window at how much snow has fallen, hot chocolate for breakfast, wearing our pajamas inside out, placing the spoon gently under our pillow, and, yes, hoping for the superintendent’s call.

“Even better than the superintendent’s call in the morning, was the call that came the evening before,” she said, and making her first snow day call a day ahead.

“Here. we are expecting our first ‘official snow day’ tomorrow; and while there are no absolutes, it looks like there will be significant snow accumulations, along with strong winds, and the strong possibility of power outages…”

It’s a little different his year, since there are already so much “remote learning” going on. But Da Silva said she’ll be making “decisions on a case-by-case basis regarding having ‘remote learning’ on days in which school buildings are not open due to inclement weather.”

She added, “There are many decisions that are complicated with unpredictable circumstances for the Superintendent of Schools, and snow days tend to be one of these. In a typical year, they tend to gain a bit of traction and debate, I anticipate that in this less than traditional time, it will be no different.

“While the decisions may be complicated, children are always at the forefront,” Da Silva wrote. “That said, I hope you all enjoy the first ‘snow day’ of the year — let it be filled with snowball fights, snow angels, hot cocoa, the wiping of puddles at the front door and the closing of the screen. The snow is coming! “