After Shattering Students’ Asynchronous Day Plans, Radnor Administration Announces There Will Be a Second Winter Break

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Sarah Tachau, Opinions Associate Editor

“Important Message: Due to forecasted weather, Tuesday, January 26th will be a virtual instructional day for all K-12 students,” the bold font read on the district webpage the tragic night of January 25th. This last-minute announcement was met with extreme pushback from infuriated Radnor students and parents, who criticized the poor decision and communication for absolutely obliterating their asynchronous learning day, or in Mainline terms, “day off.” Chaos erupted in the comment section of RTSD’s Instagram post announcing the news. In a desperate attempt to enact real change, community members frantically posted angry comments regarding the poor decision including excerpts from the Constitution, The Gettysburg Address, a singular nonsense paragraph in Spanish, and a comment by a Lebron James imposter.

The Radnor community was in dismay. Teachers were befuddled as they attempted to make up brand new lesson plans for the unexpected synchronous day. A member of the Math department stated, “I was so shocked, I could not carry on with the same lesson I was going to teach on Wednesday, so I resorted to handing out color-by-number worksheets instead.” The English department was so thrown off, teachers were instructing students to heavily gloss Elephant and Piggie books. Amidst the madness, Chemistry classes were playing Scrabble with elements.

By taking such an abrupt last-minute step, Radnor Administration not only caught the teachers off guard, but students as well. Some suffered to the point where they felt as if the whole school year, perhaps their entire high school experience, was ruined. Others missed out on a bi-weekly skiing trip. Even worse, Sophomores were unable to take the PSATs, thus suffering severe FOMO as they were unable to relate to PSAT memes. Even though winter storm Orlena ultimately caused over six-hundred car accidents and killed four people, none of the widespread damage will ever compare to the emotional trauma of losing one asynchronous day.

To mend the wounds their decision created, the Radnor Administration had to think fast. Their initial idea was to just give a second asynchronous day; then administrators remembered the students already had another asynchronous day, one that they had been aware of weeks in advance. Another option was to offer free skiing tickets in Vale, Colorado. However, the option that outweighed all others was to offer a second winter break, in addition to slowly phasing in mask breaks again, this time 20 minutes each period on both block and eight period days.

Though this choice is not ideal on the surface, as courses are already weeks behind in comparison to a normal year, the district was desperate to resolve student concerns ASAP. A representative present during this meeting emphasized the reasoning for the administration’s strange decision: “We like to go above and beyond to pamper our students no matter the real world circumstances, and our community was feeling sad, so we decided to fix all of their problems.” When asked why they wanted to bring back mask breaks, an administrator commented, “Our students were incredibly upset after we phased out mask breaks because they had to invest their fragile energy into learning content they had no need to remember as we canceled midterms and finals. Even worse, some of our teachers became so miserable from wearing those suffocating masks, that they just took mask breaks during class.”

Undoubtedly, this school year has been exhausting and abnormal for students and teachers, yet everyone has learned to adapt. Not without a fight for normalcy of course, this is Radnor. If a student cannot rely on the predictability of an annual Winter Break trip to Florida or Turks and Caicos, their beloved lacrosse season, or even their outdated mascot proudly presented on the side of the school, their world shatters, regardless of the big picture, such as a global pandemic. Of course, the Radnor Administration has been taking all the blame for the discomforts of real world circumstances that the community has been facing. The snow day on February 1st was provided simply to please parents and students, as the administration knew they were on thin ice. To prevent further community uproar, Radnor is hoping an additional winter break, plus daily 20 minute mask breaks, will stop all potential rioters. This decision teaches students a valuable lesson: the most efficient way to get what you want is to throw a fit on social media, and maybe quote the Founding Fathers too.