How school districts decide to call off school for snow

School districts & kids are prepared for snow days

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's been two years since many districts have called off school because of snow.

As we anxiously wait for our first measurable snowfall in Kansas City, school leaders told 41 Action News they're prepared for what's to come on a storm-to-storm basis.

"Every storm is different so every decision has to be different," said Dr. Mike Slagle, Deputy Superintendent of the Blue Valley School District.

So what's the basis of calling off school? District officials we met with explained it's mostly about road conditions.

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The superintendent and assistant superintendent of support services of Raytown Schools take on the streets together.

"Usually the superintendent gives me a call around 3:30, 4 in the morning and we coordinate and we go out and drive the roads," said Dr. Travis Hux. "I'll take one end of the district, he'll take another, and we're looking for road conditions such that school buses can be successful in." 

To keep kids safe, districts not only coordinate with each other, but the grounds crew and public works department also play a big role in calling off school.

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Slagle advises, "Have a plan. Have a backup plan. But we're trying to get the kids to school because that's where they need to be. But we're only going to do that if they can get there safely."

As for parents, a backup plan is key. Some working parents that we spoke with said that they have family members nearby that can watch their kids during a snow day. Others said that snow days are not a problem and there's no need to adjust schedules.

Either way, the school districts that we spoke with agree that it's about the safety of the kids to and from school.

We decided to visit Ms. Burchett's first-grade class at Northview Elementary to talk to the real weather experts.

Many kids are excited for sledding, making snow angels, and drinking hot chocolate during a snow day! They also took a stab at forecasting the amount of snow we could see this season.

Andrew from Ms. Burchett's class guessed 20 inches, Emery guessed 5 inches will fall, while Will predicted 1 foot. Will also thought we will get our first snowfall in December.

While those weather experts are a little more concerned with how to spend their snow day, make sure to follow your 41 Action Weather Team to stay up to date on when that snow day may hit your neighborhood.

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Lindsey Anderson can be reached at Lindsey.Anderson@KSHB.com. 

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