School districts take much into consideration before calling snow days

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Many school crossings were empty Thursday, not because of the latest blast of winter weather that swept through the area, but because many schools are still on break. Though looking at the forecast, the break could get a little longer.

Chief of Staff for the Kansas City, Kan., School District David Smith goes to work regardless of a snow day.

"If it's cold and it's snowing, that might be more of a situation where you close than if it was simply cold and the streets were dry and clear," Smith said.

Superintendent Cynthia Lane joins a conference call with other superintendents from around Johnson County on days with extreme cold or conditions. She makes the call and many times takes the calls that follow.

"Particularly if we have schools open, we get a lot of calls and she's right there answering the phones along with the other staff and talking to parents because it is a tough decision," Smith said of Lane. "Her feeling is, ‘I made the call and I'm willing to stand up and tell people why.'"

The districts consult with each other to try and make a common decision.

"In the end, I know my colleagues and I have worked on both sides of the state line. The bottom line is safety of the kids because we're responsible and that means everything for us," Smith said.

You can read the policy created by the State of Kansas on how school districts are to handle snow days here: http://bit.ly/1aroLYJ

To read more about KCMO Public Schools' weather policy, click here: http://bit.ly/1aroZz3

To read the State of Missouri's policies, click here: http://on.mo.gov/19MF3LA

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