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Author Topic: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?  (Read 5920 times)

ozarkman417

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How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« on: December 16, 2019, 11:57:01 PM »

Tomorrow will be the second day in the row my school has been cancelled due to 0.5" of snow on top of 0.1" of ice. The time couldn't be better (or worse) since it is finals week. It doesn't take very much to get school cancelled here, as winter precipitation is quite rare here, especially in recent years. Most of the winter precipitation Springfield receives is freezing rain, which is more likely to create hazardous road conditions than snow. This school week will only be two days long, due to the upcoming winter break.

While it is quite easy for school to be cancelled in the Ozarks, especially in rural areas, the same cannot be said about the more northern and mountainous parts of the country that receive much more snow, as they would end up having to make up way too many days and are used to it anyways.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2019, 12:04:53 AM »

Extremely easy in Connecticut, we had one year with 15 days cancelled due to snowy weather.  In Michigan we had school snowed out only one time in four years of High School.  I made some decent cash hauling people to school in my truck when the cars couldn’t hack it through town.
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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2019, 12:41:27 AM »

Tomorrow will be the second day in the row my school has been cancelled due to 0.5" of snow on top of 0.1" of ice. The time couldn't be better (or worse) since it is finals week. It doesn't take very much to get school cancelled here, as winter precipitation is quite rare here, especially in recent years. Most of the winter precipitation Springfield receives is freezing rain, which is more likely to create hazardous road conditions than snow. This school week will only be two days long, due to the upcoming winter break.

While it is quite easy for school to be cancelled in the Ozarks, especially in rural areas, the same cannot be said about the more northern and mountainous parts of the country that receive much more snow, as they would end up having to make up way too many days and are used to it anyways.


Here in NW FL our schools are canceled due to hurricanes & strong tropical storms. If there is a high probability of severe weather ie: tornados, flooding  they will cancel classes according to when the severe weather is expected, usually in the afternoon.
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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2019, 07:35:35 AM »

Today, where I am, many universities are closed (including mine), but almost all other schools are open. 3–6 inches.
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GaryV

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2019, 07:40:02 AM »

So, is that map based on research and data, or just someone's idea?
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thspfc

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2019, 08:08:26 AM »

So, is that map based on research and data, or just someone's idea?
I'm guessing just someone's idea. Really it's not based on how much snow falls, but on how bad the travel conditions are (i.e. six inches of snow falling at rush hour might get school canceled, but the same amount overnight might not).
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webny99

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2019, 10:33:31 PM »

I think that map is pretty spot-on for the most part. Honored to be in 24" territory!!  :nod:
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vdeane

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2019, 02:09:17 PM »

I think that map is pretty spot-on for the most part. Honored to be in 24" territory!!  :nod:
Rochester is interesting - most districts, it takes a lot to cause a snow day - except for the city.
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webny99

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2019, 04:13:09 PM »

I think that map is pretty spot-on for the most part. Honored to be in 24" territory!!  :nod:
Rochester is interesting - most districts, it takes a lot to cause a snow day - except for the city.

When I was growing up, it seemed like most of the towns around me (on the east/northeast side) usually all did the same thing, but I can't say I ever paid close attention to what happened in the city or in the western burbs. It doesn't seem crazy to think a big snowfall is a little harder to handle/manage in the inner city than the suburbs.
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vdeane

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2019, 08:24:40 PM »

Not just the snowfall - the city district will close if it gets too cold, whereas the suburbs tend not to care.
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webny99

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2019, 08:54:12 PM »

Penfield and Webster both close if wind chills are forecasted to fall below -25 Farenheit.
I imagine there's a few reasons it's more complicated for the city: budget constraints (lack of resources to manage the cold properly), more kids walking to/from school, kids that don't have proper winter attire, and even just poverty in general is a risk factor.
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thspfc

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2019, 08:28:42 AM »

We've also had school closed for freezing rain, which is the worst because you can't drive anywhere no matter what.
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Ben114

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2020, 07:33:02 PM »

Worcester, MA schools will cancel for anything. Other schools it's based on the timing mostly (and ice).
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1995hoo

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2020, 08:34:44 AM »

The thing here in Fairfax County is that different parts of the county are quite different in terms of roads. Parts closer in are very urban or suburban in character, while parts further out (especially the Clifton area and west of Great Falls Park) feel much more rural in terms of having narrow, twisty roads, lots of hills, with ditches on either side. The county won’t close just some schools and leave others open (unless there’s an issue with one particular school building, like the time Woodson HS closed for the day due to a nearby gas leak at a tank farm)—for weather-related closings or delays, the whole county does the same thing, in part because of kids who go to the magnet school or GT centers, in part because teachers generally drive a lot further than kids do. So people in the closer-in parts of the county often question why the schools closed when the answer is that the school buses couldn’t easily negotiate some of the more rural roads due to ice or whatever.

With that said, it seems like they close more readily now than they did when I was a kid in the 1970s and 1980s—while we had snow days (and a hurricane day in 1985), we had a lot of late openings or early closings. I asked my mom about it because she was a teacher and she said my observation was reasonable and the reason for it is the Commonwealth changed the way the school calendar works. When I was a kid, we had to have 180 days of school, so they built 183 days into the school calendar and tried to avoid using snow days beyond the three built-in ones (they usually failed). Nowadays, apparently they’re allowed to calculate the number of instructional hours equal to 180 days using a standard formula from the Commonwealth, and as long as they have that number of hours, they’re OK. Fairfax apparently may have a longer school day than most other counties, so using the "hours" standard makes it easier to have snow days. At least, that’s what I think my mom said. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that.
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Buck87

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2020, 09:17:02 AM »

Our school district is in 4 different counties, and has a lot of narrow rural roads. So while that map in the OP shows 3 of our counties in the 12" zone and 1 in the 6" zone, our district can close on quite a bit less than that depending on the timing of the event, the condition of those rural roads (especially if there's drifting involved), or the decision of any one of the 4 counties to declare a snow emergency level. 
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cwf1701

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2020, 03:47:34 PM »

In the mid 70s, it took a big snowfall to close the schools in Metro Detroit. I remember one snow event that closed the schools for a week in December 1974. What happened was that a snowstorm exploded on a Sunday, and on the last day of Thanksgiving Break (and this was in a era where most forecasters only knew at least 36 hours out of a major event, if that.) So we had to wait out a week while the schools and the city could dig out of the snow (because many snowplow drivers left Detroit on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) .
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texaskdog

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2020, 03:53:55 PM »

In Minnesota at least 6" but we were always the last district to close
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JMoses24

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2020, 03:15:43 PM »

In the areas near Cincinnati, that map is pretty close except for the counties in Indiana where the roads are decidedly less than optimal on a good weather day.

OKC - There's actually a good climatological study of heavy snow events (4" or more) for the state which says OKC gets one every 2 years. That said, an inch on the roads is usually enough to see school closures in the metro, but typically they won't close for any more than that one day unless it's a really big storm that exceeds the capabilities of ODOT.

Also, I happen to know that in Boone County, Kentucky, if wind chills are forecast to be below -25, they'll close schools. Not sure of OKCPS' wind chill rule if they have one.
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Bruce

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2020, 11:43:47 AM »

More than an inch of snow is all it takes, because the layer of ice underneath that coats the hills is super dangerous.

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2020, 07:37:40 PM »

I forgot what the criteria was for closing schools was until I saw that map. But I still remember former President Obama scoffing at Washington D.C.'s criteria for closing schools as opposed to Chicago.

Apparently, New York City would allow schools to remain open in the same snow storms that Long Island would've closed theirs.



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Buck87

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2020, 01:53:12 PM »

How about fog?

Our district just closed the other day for fog. Typically fog just results in a 2 hour delay around here, but every now and then, say once every year or two, the fog will linger long enough to cause an outright closing. I can recall several times growing up when this would happen, and the fog would burn off right after school was closed, and we'd have a beautiful day off to enjoy. 


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vdeane

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2020, 07:56:07 PM »

Why would fog affect whether school is in session at all?
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GaryV

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2020, 09:52:30 PM »

Why would fog affect whether school is in session at all?

Because it's not safe for kids to walk to school in the fog - they might get hit when a driver can't see them.

And school buses might get in more accidents due to lower visibility.
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webny99

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2020, 11:43:21 AM »

Wow, we rarely, if ever, have fog that bad around here.
I don't ever remember fog occurring that reduced visibility more than a major snowstorm, for example.
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vdeane

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Re: How easy is/was it for school to be cancelled?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2020, 01:08:15 PM »

Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen fog that was so bad that travel on surface streets was hazardous.  Freeways can get dicey, but how many buses have substantial travel on a freeway?
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