Making the ultimate decision for cancelling school for the day

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - As we get closer to winter and better chances for snow, what goes behind the decision for calling a snow day?

Last year, the Twin Falls School District observed five snow days.

"The first couple (of) snow days, the kids think it's great," said Melissa Fickland, a mother of four children. "But after that, it's really hard. It's hard on teachers. It's hard on parents. It's hard on students."

When a winter storm is forecast to arrive, the school district officials especially keep close track of the weather conditions.

"The night before when we go to bed, we know that there's a possibility of that happening," said Ryan Bowman, the director of operations at the school district.

On the morning of, Superintendent Brady Dickinson and Bowman start their day much earlier before making the ultimate decision.

"We both were up early checking things, often times getting in our vehicles, driving roads, etc." Bowman said.

Many factors play into the decision.

"We involve many players — the community, our city officials, our bus officials — so that we can make sure that we're doing it and doing it in a safe manner," he continued.

This also includes demographics and socioeconomics. In other words, some schools may be in session and some may be closed depending on how bad the roads are in a particular location.

If they decide to close school for the day, officials are also concerned about where some kids will be since some parents need to scramble to find a sitter last minute so they can go to work.

"Fortunately in my situation, I was able to be home with (my kids). I know that's not the case for everybody," Fickland said.

Overall, safety tops their priority list.

If you do decide to keep your child home on a snow day, officials ask that you call your child's school to let them know.

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