How do Schools Decide to Cancel Class for Snow? - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

How do Schools Decide to Cancel Class for Snow?

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Jessica Daley

jdaley@myabc5.com

@TheDaleyReport

Snowy weather can open the possibility of having to cancel school. That's a decision districts say they take very seriously.
 
Districts keep an eye on the forecast just like you and I do. Once snow pops up, they keep an even closer eye on it.

There's not much they can do though until the snow starts coming down. Some staff drive the roads themselves early in the morning to see the road conditions first hand.

They also communicate with their cities, counties, weather service, and the DOT as well as other school districts. Officials say keeping students safe is priority number one.
 
"I hate it. I really do. I tell people it's a lot like officiating a basketball game," says Waukee Community School District Superintendent Dave Wilkerson. "In many cases, no matter what decision you make about half the people think you're wrong anyway."

District leaders say their decisions are also based on what the weather is predicted to do when students and staff are driving to and from school.

"Although we know students do enjoy snow days, we know that it's an inconvenience for parents," says Elaine Watkins-Miller, Director of School Community Relations at West Des Moines Community School District. But we also know parents are very concerned about the safety of their children, and so are we."
 
Most districts try to make the decision on whether to cancel school by 5:30 a.m. so they can let students, parents, and staff know as soon as possible.

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