The answer to this question depends on where you live. Cities with more money going towards snow trucks and de-icers will genrally require more snow to close schools down. I live in Seattle, a place where it does not snow often, and our schools will close down if there is anywhere between one and two inches on the ground. My mom grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and they would have to go to school in snow a foot deep or more. That’s just to give you an idea of how different that can be from place to place.
Snow days are typically instituted when school buses cannot safely make their routes, or when students who walk to school cannot safely do so. Areas of the country that normally receive a lot of snowfall are more prepared to handle heavy snow, and might not call a snow day even if snow is heavy. Areas unprepared for heavy snow might call a snow day more readily. Another factor is the built-in snow day – schools that are accustomed to having classes cancelled due to inclement snow will build snow days into their school calendar, lengthening the school year but preventing themselves from having to ‘make up’ any snow days they might enact.
Often, driving conditions warrant closing schools. School districts want their students to travel home safely. In Texas, schools may close down due to ice or slight snow fall, because driver’s aren’t used to those conditions. In rural Alaska, a snow day is considered if the wind chill reaches below -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
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