Jan 22, 2014

When does Sandusky Schools close for snow?

On Wednesday morning, Erie County authorities issued a Level 2 snow emergency. Many other schools canceled or delayed school but Sandusky Schools didn't. Why is that? Shawn in Sandusky

Sandusky Schools superintendent Eugene Sanders provided the following response:

The Sandusky City Schools go through an extensive process to determine if we have school or not based on inclement weather. We do the following:
 
1. Review weather forecast to determine the conditions over a 12- to 24-hour period.
 
2. Consult with other districts to determine the status of their decisions regarding closing versus opening.
 
3. (Coordinate with) our building and grounds supervisor, transportation supervisor, assistant superintendent and myself (to) determine if weather conditions and road conditions are such that it is safe for busses, walkers and cars to assess our streets and school parking lot.
 
4.  Review the temperature and wind chill projections to determine this factor in concert with our other factors to consider regarding whether or not to open schools.
 
Since we are in the city, the weather conditions for our streets are often less challenging that those in rural areas where snow covered roads presents a more challenging condition for driving.
 
(On Wednesday) morning, our team went through our various factors and determined we were able to open. About 6:15 a.m. we had verbal confirmation that a Level 2 was potentially being called. Based on all of the factors identified above, we opened school. (On Wednesday), our average attendance is approximately 85 percent; this compares to the over 92 to 95 percent, which is our average attendance. During these days, we also do not count absences against a student whose parent has chosen to keep them home for weather-related reasons.
 
Finally, we have five calamity days (inclement weather) from the Ohio Department of Education. The board of education  has also approved five additional days at the end of the year that we can use to make-up days in case we miss an amount over our limit for the year. We realize these are difficult decisions and attempt to make decisions in the best interest of the students and families.
 
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Comments

lmalley77

Well its a good thing that they "don't count the absences against children whose parents felt it was better to keep their children home," because that's exactly what I did!!! I still think it's asinine that they would expect CHILDREN to walk to and from school in negative degree weather with windchills at -16!!!!

Licorice Schtick

The roads weren't that bad. The way this winter is going, if they're too free with snow days they'll need to make them up. These are tough decisions, and there's a lot of second-guessing going on here.

I'm old. The snow days I remember were because the roads were impassable. We would go out and play in the ice and snow much of the day. If it was really cold (like today) we'd be in and out, and whining for hot chocolate. Had a blast. The frostbite was infrequent and not severe. Learned my limits.

Kids today are fat, soft, coddled wimps because that's the way the parents are raising them.

Nemesis

Imalley, I did it when I was a kid. I actually stood a post as a crossing guard in subzero weather, and I turned out just fine. That was also before Thinsulate and Gore Tex.

Tom Sawyer

They really don't factor windchill unless it's -20 below with a foot of snow! There were many days I walked 2 miles to school in the winter and my hair was froze stiff when I got there!

goodtime1212

Wonder what they do in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin. Cant believe every time it gets cold or snow they conceal school. Its Ohio, it gets cold and snows.

The Don

Umm they cancel school also some districts in Wisconsin have already used all there days and they have to make them up at the end of the year. Ir there is always the online makeup that ohio also offers!

The Don

That statement in the article kind of contradicts itself. 1 12-24 hr period. Nope not considered. -temps for the next two days are below zero. 2. Consult other districts. Definitely not! 3. Consult with " walkers". No I walked my daughter to school and it was ridiculously cold. 4. Review the temps true and windchill....ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! That alone doesn't make sense. My daughter would not complain at all if she had to go to school for a few extra days at the end of the year. If It even came to that. A 2 hr delay have even been a little better. But know I know next time just leave her home.

mimi's word

I was told that the huge issues depends on whether the distict-knowing some of their students-might be left home alone with nothing to eat or may have a parent lose day of work or find emergency day-care...cost to parents is a added strain. I was told that direct from a teacher.

Maemayz

That's b.s I went to Sandusky k- 10 graduated 2012 and when my mom would keep me home on bad days they counted it against me! Also I remember when my bus was Turning around and got stuck in the snow it took a hour for another bus to show up so it could take us to school and we all got tartys. So where is that considered in your road conditions ? Sandusky city schools is a joke and when I have kids I'll send them else where for schooling

SamAdams

I grew up in a REALLY cold state, and school was NEVER called off just because it was cold. There were a few blizzards I recall that shut down the buses and the schools, but just cold? We dealt with it. And yes, I DID walk quite a ways and then stood without shelter waiting for a bus to take me the rest of the way. I did that from the time I was five years old. As long as you're dressed properly, you'll be just fine.

Informed

Same here, with one exception. I knew other kids that actually got frostbite. That can only lead to lawsuits.

SamAdams

We ALL knew kids that actually got frostbite. But once again, the key is pretty simple: IF YOU DRESS PROPERLY, you'll be fine.

mikesee

Kids today are becomig more wussified by the day. SamAdams you are right! I went to school in the 60's and 70's. Never called off for temps and I can only recall a handful of days that we closed for snow. Todays kids would rather stay inside and play video games instead of going outside and learning how to brave the cold.

Nemesis

Amen. I work with a guy who immigrated from eastern Europe, who actually spent his early years under communism. He's always complaining about the "wussification of America."

Thank you schools, sheriff's departments, etc. for sending the message to potential investors and job creators that Erie County's entire economy shuts down every time it snows or gets cold. We wouldn't want them to think this is a good place to locate and create some jobs, eh?

Kelly

I'm in my 40's and we had snow days all the time when we were kids. We had days off for bad roads, ice storms, and low wind chills. We almost always used up all of our calamity days and some years we went over and had to go an extra day or two at the end of the year. It cracks me up when everyone says they didn't have snow days.

Nemesis

You should have lived in my district. Their published criteria was, if the custodians could get there to make the building ready, then school was open, and then they actually added sleeping accommodations and showers for the custodians so they could stay overnight when the weather got rough.

oldpirate

I don't think Dr Sanders or any school official has the power to determine whether to not count an absence due to weather. This attendance scrubbing has gotten several systems into trouble. I don't think this is Sander's first rodeo with creative attendance counts. If your not there and school is in session you are absent no matter what the parent chooses.

rjoh

I grew up in Fremont during the 60's and 70's. They hardly ever cancelled school and they didn't have snow emergencies back then either. I remember when I was in 6th grade and there was a ice storm. I walked to school and everything was a sheet of ice. they finally cancelled school after most of the kids were there. Now they cancel school when 2 snowflakes fall. It was a lot colder back then in the winter. N ow nobody can handle the cold after a bunch of winters that were warm.You get one normal or below normal winter and nobody can handle it.

whazup

This all sounds good except the Sheriff's department posted a red banner on its website Tuesday morning with a level 2 advisory. Did no one in the district bother looking? It was there at 5:00 am. If they consult with other districts, did they not share with Sandusky that they were delaying or closing? Of those 85% that came to school, how many stood outside in the cold waiting for buses which were running late? How many were late to school due to busing? Let's tell the full story. Sounds like someone is full of excuses, and himself, with his explanation.

santown419

How is what he said full of excuses? I went to school in the 80 and nineties the superintendent always said if he can make it to work we were having school. We had very little snow days.

oheaglefl

Santown you are right, my kids went to school in the 80's and if the superintendent who lived in cedar point roadway made it to school, it was open. As was said earlier, kids now days are getting to soft and it's not just about the weather, but everything. Shoot I grew up in Mansfield, Ohio and walked to school and the high school was 2 miles from our house. Didn't have bus to pick us up. We walked and survived in all kinds of weather.

JimTressel

"When I was a kid, we had to walk to school uphill for 20 miles in -50 degree weather and 2 feet of snow... and then another 20 miles uphill to get back home."

Nemesis

With your little brother on your back?