School closings, due to snow, have been a debatable subject for years. If you ask the kids, of course, whenever there is an inch of snow, there is ample cause for a cancellation. However, because schools are only allotted a set number of emergency days, superintendents and administration have to be cautious in their judgments.
Normally any time there seriously dangerous road conditions, due to ice or snow, schools will close – or at the very least, be delayed. Driving a bus load of children over hazardous roads is not something that parents, teachers, administrators, or bus drivers want to face. In the event of an accident or merely becoming stranded in a snow drift, winter temperatures can make the event even more perilous.
In areas where there are emergency levels issued, for the most part, a level 2 or 3 will pretty much be an indication that school will be closed for the day. In level 2, roads are considered extremely hazardous, and a level 3 requires that no one except emergency workers be on the roads.
If it is predicted that a blizzard or snow storm will be arriving in the near future, during a normal school day, many schools will cancel school rather than transport the children to the school only to be forced to transport them back home again in less than acceptable weather conditions. Today, thanks to the weather radar and constant updates, it is possible to plan ahead.
Unfortunately for kids who live in cities, unless the streets are virtually impassable, school usually remain in session during and after the storm. It is expected that most children will be able to walk to school, or that the streets will be cleaned in time to allow the buses to move.
In some cases, it isn’t only the streets and roadways that determine when school will be closed. In areas that have been hard hit by blizzard conditions, the school parking lots, bus areas, and entrances themselves may not be cleared enough to allow normal operation.
In the long run, at least in the more rural areas, the final decision is usually left to the administration, the bus drivers, and reports from local law enforcement. It may even be determined by the teachers themselves, since in some cases, they may not be able to get to the school. The last thing that any school district wants is to endanger children and these decisions are never taken lightly.