Calling a snow day – When does winter win?

Pickups with snow plows on front

Winter in Michigan can be downright brutal.

Deciding whether to cancel school due to snow, cold or other weather-related conditions is always difficult for the Superintendent and his team.  While students may be quick to take to social media to lobby for canceling school, the district team bears the burden of deciding when closing school is really necessary.

First, the Superintendent and his team assess current and forecasted weather conditions.  How quickly are roads being cleared?  Can buses navigate main and side streets under current and expected driving conditions?

As part of data gathering, the Superintendent communicates with other area superintendents to see if conditions are localized or more wide spread.

Obviously the timing of when the snow falls also impacts whether school will be cancelled. A foot of snow on Friday night might not impact schools, but six inches early Tuesday morning could cancel classes and activities for the day.

As a general rule, Dearborn Schools decides whether to close schools based on actual conditions that morning.  Predictions the day before may prove to be wrong.  Every attempt will be made to make the decision to cancel by 5 a.m. on that day.

Canceling for cold is a little more straightforward.

The District will not consider cancelling for low temperatures until the wind chill drops to -20 or worse.  Parent can always choose to do what they feel is in the best interest of their children, but we hope, when possible, that is to bundle them up and get them safely to class.

Note, elementary schools will cancel outdoor recess once the wind chill dips below 20 degrees or any time a principal decides it is necessary.  Above the 20 degree wind chill, parents should dress their children expecting them to get to play outside.

Once the decision to cancel school is made, the District communication team jumps in and gets the information on the District website, District Facebook, District Twitter, and District television channel, and out to major media outlets including channels 2, 4, and 7 and radio stations WJR and WWJ.  An automated call and email is also sent to every parent that has a valid phone number and email address on file.

Snow, cold, and other winter weather are part of life in Michigan.  Snow days will also be part of that life.  While we all enjoy the occasional day off, learning is serious business, and we have so much we want to share with your children.  We need our students in school, so together we can educate, celebrate and inspire.