What Goes Into a Snow Day?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - When it comes to calling a snow day, all districts start the same way. 

Phone calls to highway and transportation departments and even neighboring superintendents to hear their thoughts. By 5:30 a.m. the decision is made.

For Carmen Gumina, superintendent of Webster schools, it's not so much the amount of snow falling.

"If its 1 or 2 inches and you have a 40 mph wind and its blowing all over the place and your already had snow on the ground to begin with and that's blowing too, it comes down to visibility."

Being in a lakeshore district, Gumina also has to factor in the power of lake effect snow.

"If we're getting socked by 6-12 inches of snow all happening between a two to three hour period right at the commute time, we have to cancel school.  Just five miles down the road into Fairport, it was blue skies." 

In districts where there's a lot of walking like East Rochester and the City school district, they also have to deal with unplowed sidewalks.

Students then have to walk in streets with busy roads and especially once it's dark in the morning, it's all just another reason to cancel school

And then of course there's wind chill, superintendent Mark Linton says it's a walk he would ask no child to make.

And while a two hour delay might allow some of these conditions to ease, school districts say that's unlikely to happen because of food costs, facility operations, and parents having to call off work 

But something they all agree on is that student's safety is their number one priority.

Most districts build in several snow days at the start of the school year to make it easier for them to make that potentially life-saving call.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Adam Interviews
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Buffalo Kickoff Live!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Extraordinary People
  • Ask The Experts
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Games and Puzzles

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center