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Deciding When To Close School, Part 2

Tools

By Nick Kosir

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Snowfall in the Wood River Valley is greater than what we see in the Magic Valley.

So why do kids in the Blaine County School District get less snow days?

Nick Kosir explains what it takes to make a snow day.

Come snow or sunshine, Blaine County school buses take kids to and from school.

I guess you could say the district's system is a well oiled machine...

For an area that relies on a lot of snow, it’s surprising kids in Blaine County don't have more snow days.

That's the result of teamwork between the city and the district.

"The city does a great job removing snow. I've never had a problem getting to work or driving around at all," explains Heather Crocker, communications director.

The buses do their share of work, too.

"We do outfit our buses here with automatic tire chains. We can apply those if we need to and those will get us through those areas that are somewhat questionable," says Rex Squires, transportation director.

So what does warrant a snow day?

The answer is simply - cold temperatures.

"We do have a threshold; once we get to 20 below, then we try to close school at that point because it's too cold to have kids outside," Squires explains.

And too cold for the kids means it's also too cold for the buses.

"When the temperature gets cold enough then the fuel doesn't flow into the engine and those heaters. Diesel fuel doesn't like cold temperatures so it refuses to play," Squires points out.

Blaine County School District officials try to call school by 6 AM... parents can get alerts via e-mail, or on their cell phone.

"There's always the idea in the back of your mind like yes, maybe we won't have school. Then you wake up the next morning and you're like yeah, we're having school," says Quinn Magner, junior at Wood River High School.

The district, staying one step ahead of Mother Nature.

Squires says it would take about ten inches of snow accumulation for officials to cancel school.


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