K-12 students of the world, rejoice! A study through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government has found that snow days have little to no impact on students’ achievement test performance. Alternately, students who miss school when school is in session see lower test scores. “A single day of absence has a noticeable but not large affect on kids’ learning. The issue is that kids are absent for eight, nine, 10 days on average in one year, and that adds up,” said Joshua Goodman, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, in the report. “There’s some kind of absences that can’t be avoided, but it’s almost certainly the case that parents and schools could help some students improve their attendance rates.” Researchers hope that results will encourage educators to focus on individual students’ absences rather than the total number of snow days for the district. “In some sense, the more important finding is that people pay much less attention to this subtle, but more widespread loss of instructional time that comes with student absences,” Goodman said.
Contributor: Phoebe Roe