If the storm is as bad as forecast – freezing rain and sleet, making for icy roads and hazardous driving conditions – I guess I can understand why they’d cancel classes. Given the 200-plus accidents during last Saturday’s bad weather, it most certainly would be worse if the same happened on a regular work day, when there is guaranteed to be many more vehicles on the road. Keeping the kids safe is and should be the number one priority.
But also knowing how winter storm forecasts can be off the mark, I wonder why districts don’t wait until the morning to make the final decision to close. I think they could easily alert parents to the fact that a decision will be made, say, by 5:30 or 6 a.m. That should give parents who need to make child-care arrangements the ability to put a “just-in-case” plan in place tonight. And from what I’ve heard, when there is an ice storm here during a work day, most people stay home anyway because it’s not safe to travel (and no one knows how to drive on ice, nor do governments have the trucks or salt to make the roads safe to drive on). So, if most parents will be home anyway, would waiting until the morning really be all that bad? That way, if the forecast misses its mark, school could go on.
Of course, you should realize that all of this is coming from someone who has spent 48 winters in Wisconsin, so maybe I’m a bit jaded about it all. Driving on snow-covered and/or icy roads is a fact of life there. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: Many people in Wisconsin don’t know how to drive on bad winter roads either!