How do schools decide when to cancel class? - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

How do schools decide when to cancel class?

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When the snow starts to fall and the temperatures begin to plunge.

School districts have a decision to make. That decision is whether to cancel school.

Fox 28 spoke with superintendents from the Goshen, Penn-Harris-Madison and Niles school districts to see what their procedure are. All follow roughly the same rules when snow and cold temperatures hit.

PHM Superintendent Jerry Thacker says, "The protocol includes looking at visibility, amount of snow, weather conditions that are forecast and predicted."

Roads are a top priority and are surveyed by employees in the district.

Thacker says, "A number of our administrators start looking at the primary and secondary roads early because we have 140 square miles."

Goshen Superintendent Bruce Stahly says, "We go out in our corporation, it's just 6 X 6 so we have one person who goes out and actually drives the roads. He knows where the worst conditions are."

These districts also keep in close contact with the city and county road crews.

Niles Superintendent Douglas Law says,"When are they going to put the trucks on? How long they've had the trucks on and what they think is going to happen?"

With many kids waiting for buses or walking, temperatures are also important.

Stahly says, "Obviously if it gets down to -20 degree with the wind chill factor, we'll seriously consider canceling school."

No matter what the superintendents decided, all three say the parents have the final say.

Law says, "If we're in school and they don't think it's safe enough for the kids to come to school, don't bring your kids."

Also, districts communicate with neighboring districts to get an idea of what they plan to do.

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