WOw! So many people are out for snow days. I'm curious - what has to happen before you get a snow day? How much snow has to fall, or what conditions have to occur in order to get a snow day? We usually have to get about a foot the night before to get one. Either that, or there has to be a forecast for MAJOR snow during the day. What about you??
The last snow day we had was 1997ish. I live in Canada. It snows, it gets cold but we carry on. The that time in 1997 we got one day off. It was a freak spring snowstorm that came down really heavy and really fast. No one predicted it would come so fast/ so much so roads were impassable.
As I have said before I dont understand all this getting snow day for snow that "might fall" or for just a light dusting...
We get snow days for even an inch of snow or icy roads. Much of our district has rural backroads. We don't get ice/snow often, so our county does not have equipment to de-ice the roads. I'm home today for an 8-inch snow in Mississippi. That's the most we've gotten in over 10 years. The backroads won't thaw out this week because the forecast says it's not even supposed to get above freezing. Even if it did, the backroads would ice back over at night when the slush that had melted froze again. I am not expecting to go back to school at all this week, but if so, it might be Thursday at the earliest IF (and that's a big IF) someone takes personal tractors and graders out and clears all the roads.
is a big factor. If a lot falls in the night, the ability to get the parking lots plowed enters into the decision to close, but more likely a delayed opening. Most of the time it is a parent decision as to bringing their children to school. Driving conditions with ice or sleet might get school called.
Funny story..the Supt's DD posted on FB :We need a snow day tomorrow. One of her friends replied: Your dad can arrange that. The Supt's wife then posted a rant about what a complex decision it is, with the DOH and Transportation Dir. making the call after "a lot of stress."
Bottom line, if the roads are dangerous, and we have a lot of mountainous back roads, school will be called off. This can be ice, snow, or high water.
We have to have around 8-10 inches and it has to fall between the hours of about 3am and 6am so the roads can't get plowed in time. I can't even imagine having a snow day if there is a possibility of snow. Even if a lot of snow is expected to start during the school day, we still have school and no early dismissals.
We need a mix of snow and sleet or freezing rain. If it is just white fluffy snow we go to school unless it is falling so fast during the morning bus run that they can't keep up with plowing the roads. I work in a rural district and at times the busses just can't get through the back roads. The city I live in has far fewer snow days than the town I teach in. 4-6 inches of snow would not be enough to earn us a day off.
less than a shoestring budget for everything including schools and DOT. We have minimal snow removal equipment at the state highway level and much less at the township level with a ton of secondary roads.
In my district it takes the Director of Transportation and the Assistant Super reporting to the Super. Sometimes we get a call from the Sheriff's Department requesting the district to cancel if conditions become really bad overnight. It is a lovely, picturesque area but the topography is something else. There are many roads where when two vehicles approach from opposite directions, one must yield the right of way when the road is completely clear of snow, so you can imagine how snow compounds the problem!
In fact, when we lived in the old house on a township road workers would sometimes have to ask one or more of the farmers with front end loaders to assist the township with clearing the snowfall away enough so their crappy equipment could make it up the enormous grade (think pretty much straight up with only very thin gravel at the base) to try to clear some of the snow away on the flat at the top of the hill. (NO kidding!) I had about a quarter mile driveway leading to the township road, so you can see why I learned to be prepared for all weather conditions. If we got much snow, we were snowbound unless we cleared it out ourselves and made it out to the township road, then the county road, then the state road...Make more sense to you now?
We may get out based on the forecast. That is what happened this weekend. They called it Sunday afternoon but the snow didn't hit until after midnight. We ended up with a lot of snow so it was a good call.
If snow/ice/floods hit suddenly during the night then it is called by the director who lives an hour from school. He used to take the advice of the head maintanance man who also drove a bus. He is no longer with us due to budget cuts so I don't know where the director gets his local road conditions reports now.
Growing up in northwest Florida, I remember two snow days. In 1973 we got a dusting and they were worried that the bus drivers couldn't handle it. I remember going in together with a few neighbor kids, pooling our resources (all the snow that covered about an acre total of backyards). We made a horrible snowman, full of sticks, dead grass, and dirt. I remember thinking, "Golly on all the cartoons, snowmen are all white and clean looking and the kids make the snowmen quickly. It took us all day, three yards of snow, and we ended up with this foot high thing full of dirt!" Then in 1978 they predicted overnight snow (which we did get) and they cancelled based on the prediction, again because our bus drivers hadn't dealt with snow (even in their personal cars -- most were good ol' boys who had lived there all their lives).
Now, we get snow days when the super (lives in a snowy part of the district) decides it's bad. Works well because if it's nasty at her house it's likely nasty in half the district. If she's got passable roads, then chances are the rest of the district are safe.
Like PPs said, a lot of it depends on if the roads get cleared. It's not just the inches that count. The districts (we live in an area with a handful of private schools as well as a few close-by neighborhing districts) near us, like us, consider the overnight snowfall, what was already on the road (were they icy), the next day's forecast (are we getting a ton more, will the sun come out and melt it, will we have blizzard conditions, will it be so cold that the kids at the bus stops will freeze?)...
Of course, one factor nobody seems to talk about is how many snow days have already been taken. Our calendar allows for a few snow days and after that, we have to extend the year into the summer! Nobody (teachers, parents, students, staff) likes that! So, if we find we're using too many snow days (some years are like that!) we will be much more likely to have school on snowy days. On the other hand, if we have had a dry and sunny winter, we are much more likely to use up those allowed snow days with those last spring days. Amazingly (not!) we tend to use up our allotted snow days and no more! Ha ha.
We hardly ever get snow so the area doesn't have plows. I believe the decision is 100 percent based on if the buses can safely get the kids. If not, we either have a delay or no school.
This is our 2nd day off because everything is iced over. We will most likely make these days up on a spring holiday or workday. We don't have any built in snow days.
We were cancelled due to the forecast . We got 7-9" of snow and we have limited road plows. We are also a rural district so our backroads are dangerous . We are on our 2'nd day out because it is now sleet and freezing rain. The threat of this type of weather is usually enough to cancel or at the very least delay us. Then there are the hurricanes again- the threat is enough .
Where I am now (Bay Area CA) we will never get a snow day. :-( but it was canceled once when the creek flooded up onto the school grounds....lots of mud to clean up.
Growing up in the Central Valley, we usually had a couple of delayed starts due to fog and once or twice total had the whole day off. Like the other poster, it was a rural district that depended on buses being able to drive safely. I remember those days when you couldn't even see the street from the front door and you drive with your windows down so you could hear other traffic since you couldn't see them.
The superintendent used to live next door to me. We had a joke that, on mornings when it was below freezing, if we wanted a snow day, my job was to go out in the night and put my garden hose on the superintendent's front porch. When he came outside, he would see how slick the porch was, and would call off schools. Whenever teachers would get stressed out, they would see me in the hall and say, "Got your garden hose ready?"
My small rural community is in Western New York State, on one of the Great Lakes. Needless to say, we get a LOT of snow.
Schools close usually only in states of emergency, or if the power is out. We are well-prepared to deal with snow............salt trucks, plows, etc. We are used to driving in the snow. We've been in school when the snow was halfway up the windows in our classroom! We just had a snowstorm in early December that gave us 44 inches of snow in 4 days, and we missed school only on the first day because the power was out in all of our school buildings.
We have NEVER EVER closed school based only on a forecast.
I believe the decision is 100 percent based on if the buses can safely get the kids.
We don't have to get a major snow storm in order to have a snow day. It's all about whether of not the busses can pick up the kids safely. I know that I have a hard time driving on some of the roads when the weather is nice. I don't even want to think about driving on those same roads when there is snow on the ground. The director of transportation has a say in whether he thinks the bus drivers should be driving, etc. The super has the final say of course.
we have too many dirt roads that are last priority for plowing....a few inches of snow with or without ANY amount of ice will close us.
I always have mixed feelings about snow days--LOVE taking them, HATE making them up. The first several eat up all our future holidays--MLK day, etc. Any more and they elect to take Spring Break or add to the end of the year.
I understand that some of you in northern snowy climates do not understand about our snow days. I see that in every post about snow. For us, its a matter of safety. We have many dangerous back roads. The city clears roads within the city limits and the state cleans state maintained roads. But, that leaves a lot of county owned roads that don't get much treatment at all. If a vehicle slides off the road, it doesn't go into a ditch it will more than likely go down a steep embankment. Roads are narrow with no room for mistakes. Very dangerous for busses. This is a very high poverty area. If busses don't run than more than likely at least 50% of students would not be attending.
It doesn't take much to get us out. We're in a really rural, mountainous area. Even a little bit of snow makes a huge issue. Plus, the mountain areas sometimes get snow when we don't. I'm still rural, but I'm in the river valley.
Here if you run off the road, you're likely to go over a cliff. Earlier in the winter, we'd had a little snow. A local woman was on her way home from work, and she slipped off the road, went over a 70 foot cliff, and into the river. She drowned. That's a road that buses run.
Like cheerio, "snow days" are really rare here even in the rural areas which most of our district is. I remember one for a really bad windstorm (winds 80-to over 100mph) but schools are not always closed because of winds like that. As far as snow, it takes a LOT of snow falling overnight for school to be canceled, like at least a foot and half or two feet. They would NEVER close school based on what might be coming, and they never ever have delays or early releases. I never heard of that before reading it here on PT! The school buses have chains on them so they can still make most or all of their routes. We're just used to it, it's a part of life, and weather isn't going to stop us.
I don't even think our area (maybe even state!) has trucks to "plow" or "clear" the roads. I don't even know what that means!
I live in Alabama, and if it's on the forecast, we're usually out. We were told on Sunday that we'd be out Monday before it even started snowing. Granted, we've gotten about 4 inches as of now (at my house, more I think in other areas of the county) and we're out again today. The highest it's supposed to be is 35 today, but like others said, it's just going to freeze again tonight. It's so neat looking outside, because I've never seen my yard completely white! (Except for the blizzard of '93, of course) Like another pp said, it's always full of sticks and dirt!
It's so strange to me that some of you get FEET of snow, and don't have a snow day!
Cancellations depend on buses' ability to get through safely - but that is usually related to how much snow we get. If plows have been on top of it from the beginning, we might be plowed out and ready even if we've gotten a foot overnight.
Timing is the big thing in upstate ny. We could get two feet of snow but as long as they have two hours to clean up before school starts the we going to school. The back roads are always yucky from the first snowstorm until spring hits.