Snow Day Decisions


Emma Larson

Streets are cold and snowy, but not cold enough!

Cameron Jones, staff writer

The recent snow storm left many students wondering how the district decides to cancel school or delay start times. Published information on this can be found at,but the process itself is really quite detailed. 


Contrary to rumors that circulate whenever there is a snowstorm, the Superintendent Sandra Smyser is not from Alaska. In addition, she does not  make the decision alone. District officials take many things into account before deciding to stay open or to cancel. 


While there are many different rituals students try to employ, like wearing pajamas inside out, putting a spoon under a pillow, and flushing ice down the toilet, the process is spelled out for officials to follow. There is always some guesswork, but having a process for it helps them make the best decision.


The process starts off with a warning to PSD from the National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association or Emergency Management Services. They try to set up a plan based on where the storm is projected to hit.


Snow days are based on transportation. If PSD vehicles can’t get to school, then they will delay or cancel school for that day. If a storm is supposed to go on overnight, then the PSD drivers will drive around the district and report on the conditions.


Early in the morning, the super gets in a conference call with people who run transportation and emergency services. They talk about incoming weather reports and current/projected road conditions.


Finally, it is decision time. The superintendent has a lot to consider, including how busses will do on the roads, how cold it is for kids at the bus stops, and if snow plows can access streets. If they decide to close or delay they have until 5:30 am to contact parents and guardians.


There really isn’t a way to make everyone happy, and the superintendent knows that. The average person probably doesn’t know all that goes into it and it’s much more complicated than people may think it is. The superintendent isn’t the only one who controls that kind of stuff, she has to go through and talk to a lot of other people, so next time that schools close, remember that there’s lots of thought put into that decision and the administrators are doing the best that they can with the information that they have.