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How administrators decide when to cancel school during winter weather

MADISON (WKOW) – Another snow system Wednesday threatens yet another day of school.

Jordan Sinz makes that critical decision for Wisconsin Heights School District, which covers Black Earth and Mazomanie in western Dane County. He says, “We’ve kind of exhausted the, what I’ve called, ‘relatively pain free options.'”

RELATED: Stacking more snow on Wednesday

With the recent combination of snow days and in-service days, Wisconsin Heights School District hasn’t had a full week of classes in more than a month.

The district has already called off seven days this year, but because back up days are built into their calendar, they only have to make up two at the end of the school year.

Juniors across Wisconsin will take the ACT standardized test on Wednesday. If class is postponed later than 10:30 am or cancelled completely, those schools will make up the exam on March 12th.

But Peter Antony says even his second grade granddaughter would rather be in the class now, “She gets a little upset when school is not going to be in session, because she doesn’t get to see her friends, she doesn’t get to see her teacher (and) doesn’t get to do her work.”

RELATED: Another wintry system this weekend, full forecast

Just one of the many things Sinz takes into consideration, “It is a tough decision though, it really is, because there are so many factors that you have to weigh into it. But at the end of the day, it all comes back to safety.”

Which is why all schools in the area work with The National Weather Service to stay up to date with forecast information.

As the snow system creeps closer, school officials see what other districts are thinking. Sinz describes these conversations, “‘What are you hearing from your bus company, what are you hearing from local law enforcement, what do you think you’re gonna do?'”

He says parents know it’s a tough call and appreciates their understanding, “The overwhelming majority of parents are supportive. They get it, none of us want to be in this situation.”

Max Tsaparis

Wake Up Wisconsin Meteorologist

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