What factors into a snow day

CLEVELAND - Every winter, school districts across the area make decisions about whether the weather is too bad for school. Superintendents are up early gathering information on bad weather mornings trying to determine if classes should be canceled or delayed.

On Friday, Independence Local Schools Superintendent Steve Marlow was among those driving on treacherous roads in the wee hours of the morning. He was trying to decide if he should cancel class for the district's 1,100 students.

"There is no magic formula," explained Marlow.

Lake effect snow blanketed several communities, including Independence. That left Marlow to make an early decision and call a snow day.

"The weather conditions, the road conditions, the temperature, the fact that we have employees coming from other parts of northeast Ohio" are all part of the equation Marlow explained.

School districts across the area said the safety of students is their number one priority. But, there are no rules when it comes to cancelling school.

"Parents will ask, 'what's the formula? What's the temperature number?' And there just isn't one," said Tammy Strom with the Solon City School District.

Strom said each decision is based on the day, but there are some guidelines the district follows.

"Road conditions, the amount of snow that is on the road, how icy and slippery it is, are they cleared of snow?"

Temperature and wind chill factor play a part as well. In Solon, Strom said the district checks with the police department and city services to check conditions. District officials will also drive roads and superintendents will call each other to check neighboring communities since employees may live in a nearby suburb.

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