The New York State Education Department is looking at a plan to get rid of snow days for thousands of schoolchildren across the state, including the Utica-Rome area.

The plan, says NYSED, would give schools the chance to use virtual learning - which most are offering anyway as a result of the pandemic - in place of a snow day. This would allow districts to keep kids learning as part of their instructional plan.

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Prior to the pandemic, most schools included a certain number of snow days in their planning. Unused days were often tacked on to the end of vacations, and if a district exceeded their planned snow day allotment, those days would be taken back from other days off during the school year.

During a harsh Central New York winter, it's not unheard of for a district to use all their school days.

Kids may be disappointed to hear of NYSED's plan. Snow days have been a rite of passage, and a welcome respite for kids for decades. Students have worn their pajamas inside out, slept with spoons under their pillows and flushed ice cubes down the toilet - all in the hope of "making" a snow day happen.