Snow Days- When To Make The Call

Dearborn Public School snow plow trucks parked in a line.
Dearborn Public School snow plow trucks parked in a line.
New trucks arrived in the summer of 2017 and are ready to clear snow and spread salt in the parking lots and driveways of the district’s 34 buildings.

The decision to call off school due to snow, cold, or other weather related condition is always a difficult decision for the Superintendent and his team.  Of course the District does appreciate all the help received from students who have not been shy about using social media to share their criteria when a school needs to be closed.  Just for the record, light rain, the first 30 degree day, leaves blowing down the street, or “mean” looking clouds do not qualify for cancelling school.

Before any decision is made the Superintendent and his team work together to assess current and forecasted weather conditions, how quickly roads are being cleared, and the ability for busses to navigate

side streets. In addition, the Superintendent communicates with other superintendents from surrounding communities to see if conditions are localized or more wide spread.

The timing of when the snow falls has a big impact on whether or not school will be cancelled. Ten inches of snow on a Friday night might not impact school on Monday but six inches early Monday morning could close a district.  As a general rule, the District will not make a decision to close school based on a prediction. The decision is based on the conditions that exist. A weather forecast is just that, a forecast of what could happen. There may be an instance when the call can be made the night before but for the most part the call to cancel school will be made in the morning with every attempt to make a decision before 5:00 a.m.  

Once a decision is made the notice is sent to the following locations: District website, District facebook page, District Twitter, District cable channel, every major media outlet in the metro-Detroit area including, but not limited to, channel 2, 4, and 7, radio stations WJR and WWJ.  An automated call and email is also sent to every parent that has a correct phone number and email address on file.  

Snow, cold, and winter weather is part of Michigan, always has been and always will be.  However, one of the warmest December days on record for Lower Michigan occurred on December 5th in 2001.  Grand Rapids and Lansing set record highs of 69 degrees while Holland and Flint both hit 70. We can always hope!