School districts look at several factors when deciding to close schools because of snow

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The decision to close schools because of snow is much more than a coin toss, said school officials from the Blue Valley School District.

"The safety of our students is always our number one priority," Deputy Superintendent Dr. Al Hanna said. "We look at a number of factors when deciding if it is safe or not for our kids to attend school."

Hanna said starting at 4 a.m. Thursday, he will begin contacting a variety of people to check the latest forecast and road conditions.

"We also check the status of our buses, and I'll also call our grounds crew to see how are sidewalks and parking lots are," Hanna said.

The timing of Thursday's expected snow is making the decision a bit more difficult, Hanna said.

"This one is probably hitting when it's just not good for us," Hanna said. "It's one of these storms that takes shape after midnight, and it looks like its going to be at its peak time during the rush hour time during school traffic."

After numerous conference calls, Hanna said a decision is typically made between 5:30 and 6 a.m.

If schools are closed, the district will notify parents and teachers through emails, voice messages, Facebook and Twitter. School closings are always available at

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