Will school be canceled Monday?

Norwalk students get extra day of winter break; other superintendents hesitant about making call Sunday, preferring to wait until the early-morning hours Monday.
Cary Ashby
Jan 5, 2014

 

Will school be canceled or even delayed because of the dire weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday?

Some superintendents were taking the wait-and-see approach today.

At 7:07 p.m., Norwalk issued a One Call announcing that school was canceled for Monday. That means Norwalk students will get at least one more day of winter break.

(NOTE: After this story was posted, a number of other school districts also announced they will be closed Monday. Here's a LINK to the list of closings.)

In Norwalk, the National Weather Service forecast is calling for "widespread blowing snow" and a 30-percent chance of snow showers. With a southwest wind of 23 mph, forecasters predicted a low of about minus 15 and wind chill values as low as 40 below zero.

Norwalk City Schools Superintendent Dennis Doughty was taking a wait-and-see approach when interviewed by the Reflector on Sunday. However, he said he would keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Monroeville Local Schools Superintendent Gregg Elchert also was waiting before making a decision.

"It sure doesn't look good in terms of what they're calling for," he said from Fremont, where he said "it just started snowing" early Sunday afternoon. "Certainly we have to wait and see if we get what's predicted."

If the area gets the weather that's being forecast, Elchert said there was a "good possibility" he would cancel school.

"It depends on how fast it comes," he said. "Some superintendents don't like to make the decision the night before."

By about 4:30 a.m. Monday, Elchert planned to check the roads in the Monroeville district with the transportation director, Don Beck.

Western Reserve Local Schools Superintendent Rodge Wilson monitored the wind chill chart through NOAA, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, for three days.

"First of all, the forecast is ever changing," he said.

When the forecast called for 4 to 8 inches of snow today, Wilson said he considered that "manageable."

"It's the wind chill I'm worried about," he said, referring to not wanting students to get frost bite while waiting for buses.

"My guideline (for canceling school) is 19 below," Wilson said about wind chill values. "That is a no-brainer; you cancel school."

Also, the Western superintendent said when frost bite is a real possibility, he doesn't want students waiting outside in those conditions.

"That's a clear decision when you have to cancel school," he added.

When the NOAA forecast upgraded the snow amount to 6 to 10 inches about 10:05 a.m. Sunday, Wilson said snow fall became "a primary concern."

But as with the other superintendents, Wilson was waiting to see what Mother Nature would actually bring to the area today.

Like Doughty and Wilson, Edison Local Schools Superintendent Tom Roth was monitoring the forecast Sunday.

"We want to make sure if the storm is going to materialize like it's supposed to," said Roth, who expected to be up at 3:30 a.m. driving on the district roads.

Roth's biggest concern is teenage drivers being on the road in the snow. He also said frigid temperatures would be a factor in deciding to delay or cancel school.

"Cold is just going to be a whole different ball game," he said.

Sharon Mastroianni, EHOVE Career Center superintendent, also waited to see what would happen with the forecasted storm.

"I get my cues from what the other districts do," she said.

EHOVE has students from Erie, Huron and Ottawa counties.

"I am connected to all their OneCalls. So when they make their OneCalls (about cancellations or delays), I get all that information," said Mastroianni, who used to have superintendents call her before the OneCall technology.

While Mastroianni doesn't make decisions about cancellations or delays based on a percentage, she said she does keep track if one district with a large percentage of EHOVE students or a cluster of schools cancel.

"So it's not a perfect science," she added with a laugh.

Comments

starryeyes83

Huron County is already Level 1.. temps dropping , freezing rain Roads will be a sheet of ice by morning.. what the hell are ya waiting for? Every other school district is off.

Dangerous Wind Chills... Duh.

Rodger the Dodger

Gee, I sound intelligent in the media! 4"-8" is "manageable"??? And just so you know, I don't like round numbers, that's why I picked -19 wind chill! We're tough enough to go when it's -15 but no way can we go when it's -19!

Bubba's Buddy

Bellevue just called no school for Monday.

starryeyes83

I knew after I seen Sandusky and Seneca County called all their other schools off , that Bellevue would follow since that school district needs only one of their four counties to call off.

entitled to my ...

Margaretta closed......

ladydye_5

As a parent you have the final say as to whether or not you send your child to school. At -15 or -20 I would NOT send my child to school. I grew up near those schools, but my children do not attend them. Our school called and cancelled over an hour ago. As a side note I would also send the school any bill for frostbite or illness my child got IF there was school. NO need to have school with a windchill in the double digits. Never mind the fact if the schools have pipes that freeze or if the power goes out. HHHmm, what would they do then?

rbenn

the only snow days i remember was the blizzard of 78. school never got cancelled

jstus2001

Same here...BUT that was before the wussification of America

Kingsin

The only time I remember Norwalk closing was for that string of bomb threats probably late 70's- anybody else remember those? Even made make up days on Saturdays.

all fact or all...

It was like 88 the girl that called in the threats was expelled and yes a Sat school and had to go to school over Easter vaca..then when we returned back to all the lockers were chained together so we had to carry all our books to every class for the rest of the year

all fact or all...

It was like 88

Windy

No, it was before our society became litigious.

TheGravyWhisperer

... think that's bad? Well, rbenn, I remember the warm spring days when flowers were blooming, birds were singing, and I had to walk to 'school' instead of heading off to the Norwalk 'Rez' for some good 'ol lackadaisical no'count fishing...

Alan Furey

Superintendent Doughty cancelled school for tomorrow at Norwalk. The one call went out 25 minutes ago.

rosco

All these school's are already closing and Western Reserve still is waiting. REALLY, there in the country and the blowing and drifting is terrible out there.

DOWNinUPTOWN

lol what do you expect from Western Reverse?...it took them 2 days to report a shooting threat from a student.

PS

Huron cancelled for tomorrow.

starryeyes83

I remember make up days on Saturdays after the Great Blizzard of '78... What was really cool is that us kids were asked our input ( via a hands-up vote) on we all agreed on the Saturdays.

all fact or all...

You can go to you tube and watch the weather forecast for the blizzard....uummm for those who watch it let's remember its old!!!!!! Hahaha and you might even enjoy the old time weather forecast :)... My mom has a copy of the paper and headlines state "OHIO's CLOSED" she said we had a week off of school...hahaha I'll take her word for it...watching the video was pretty neat just a lil blurry