Having lived in Maine much of my school life, I believe enduring winter’s bite made me tougher, but not always smarter. My frosty commute to Bath Middle School and Morse High School consisted of trudging through slush and snow, wearing insulated L. L. Bean boots while shouldering a backpack of books and a bagged lunch. Matching the salt thrown onto the roads, I likely cursed the administrators who decided it was safe enough for a school day. As Danielle Waugh noted recently, there is positive change afoot.

With similar technology afforded the likes of Tim Kelley and Charlie Lopresti, today’s superintendents can make more informed decisions whether or not to cancel school. If the former, school districts can now follow MSAD 28’s lead by hosting “remote school days.” During last year’s extended winter, Mary Capobianco cited the many benefits to an online approach. Beyond what students and their parents gain from uninterrupted school time, Eric Conrad of the Maine Municipal Association told the Bangor Daily News recently that he believes statewide broadband internet is essential to Maine’s economic future. Rather than standing in the cold, awaiting the school bus and the state ferry, or sitting passively at home, making poor entertainment and food choices, Maine children could be more warmly engaged in their studies online, preparing for participation in a world moving at high speed. There will still be time for making snow angels and sand castles during their appropriate seasonal vacations.

Darren L. Redman

Long Island

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