Who gets to call snow days?

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:06 PM


Jeremy thinks local schools should have been closed Monday.

"I know they have closed school in the past when the weather was much better," he wrote.

Of course, a lot of schools in West Michigan — including all of them in the Tri-Cities area — were closed Tuesday.

I asked the local school superintendents to explain their procedure, and their answers were quite similar:

Dennis Furton, superintendent for Spring Lake Public Schools: "Bus drivers check the roads early. I check them around 5 a.m. We all put our heads together and consult with neighboring districts. The decision is made by me, but with strong input from drivers and (the district's) transportation director. Ultimately, they tell me how a bus will handle the conditions, if kids waiting at stops may be at risk, and what they perceive to be the driving conditions for our student drivers. We err on the side of caution whenever we have questions or concerns."

Keith Konarska, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools: "We start driving roads at 4 a.m. to check our 100-square-mile district. Lake-effect snow amounts can vary greatly throughout the district. Four of us typically meet at our bus garage after driving different areas before making the call. I typically consult with neighboring districts as well. We always err on the side of caution if it's a close call. (Tuesday) morning, wind chill, visibility and icy roads all played a part in the decision."

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