Bluejay Snow Days

Cecily Hardie, Writer

With the cold comes the snow! Marshfield School District has lost a lot of days this school year due to snow (most noticeably during last semester’s finals week). In Canada or northern states, the amount of snow and ice we have received would be a daily occurrence, and would not justify calling off school. However, down in Missouri where we are less prepared and accustomed to the cold, snow and ice, we are more susceptible to losing days thanks to weather.

But how does the school district determine whether we stay at home or not? 

School superintendent Mr. David Steward says “Basically, if the roads in a good portion of the district present the possibility that buses will not be able to safely complete their route, then we will call off school.  We also check the condition of the parking lots and sidewalks at school to ensure that they are safe, or can be made safe by arrival time.” 

Before making the decision to close the school district due to questionable conditions on the roads, they consult with the owners of Joiner Enterprises, who provide transportation to and from school and for sports events.

The cold may affect Marshfield School District’s decision, as well. 

Based on extreme cold alone,” says Steward, “we would follow guidance from the National Weather Service about the risks of the specific day/time the cold is present and make a decision based on whether we believe our students will be able to safely wait outside for the bus, walk to school, etc.” 

According to the National Weather Service, wind chill is a massive factor in determining how cold is too cold because wind moves heat away from the skin, increasing risks of hypothermia and other cold-related illnesses.

If anyone has consulted the KY3 school closings listings hoping for a day off, they would see that some school districts decide to delay school instead of taking the entire day off. At Marshfield, half days are not made up later. Would this be an option for the school district? 

“We have discussed that as an option,” says Steward, “but haven’t moved forward putting any plans into place.  One of the hard things to judge is the impact that a two hour late start would have on the parents of young children that would leave for work during that two hour delay. In other words, does a two hour late start cause more child care issues for parents than just taking the full day off?”

When the weather outside is frightful, Mr. Steward and the superintendents of bordering school districts consult and discuss their plans and the conditions of the roads in their areas. The safety of students is a huge concern when Mother Nature decides it’s time for Missouri to receive a sudden, unexplained cold front, and I’m sure that we’re all pleasantly surprised when, once in a blue moon, we get to sleep in on a snow day. Stay safe, Bluejays!