Weather cancellations impacting school calendar - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Weather cancellations impacting school calendar

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Another day of school cancellations in Eastern Iowa has parents asking how decisions are made to call off school. 

Freezing rain and slick roads have played a major factor in tricky road conditions for drivers. Between busing kids to school, and teens driving to school-these road conditions also play a major factor in how school districts determine whether to cancel school. 

The Sumner-Fredericksburg school district was one of many who chose to cancel class Tuesday. 

"If I had to summarize it-it comes down to student safety," said Sumner-Fredericksburg High School Principal Allan Eckelman. "Do we feel like we can get the student here at a timely fashion and safely."

For the district, this marks the 3rd day cancelled this school year because of winter weather. Originally, the school planned a late-start, but impending afternoon weather made them think twice. Principal Eckelman says it's a decision that isn't made lightly. 

"The Superintendent and the transportation director go out and check the roads,'" said Eckelman. "They come back in, we compare notes on what other schools are doing. I know the Superintendent talks to nearly all the surrounding Superintendents."

The large district with two towns covers a number of miles-and traveling in these road conditions is a key factor.   

"Majority of the high school kids drive themselves," said Eckelman.  "And that's a consideration. They're young drivers and we don't want to take any chance with them and I think our parents expect us to consider that too."        

For these students, today's day off will be made up at the end of May, pushing back the start of summer vacation. Although it might tap into summer break, the school district feels confident making the decision with safety top of mind.

"It's all about safety,' said Eckelman. "If you can get the kids here safely and have a good learning day-you go. If that's a question-there will be a better day in the spring."

Summer classes, like Drivers Ed start as early as the end of May. Excessive snow days could interrupt summer classes. However, Principal Eckelman says it's rare for their district to see so many cancelled days that they get pushed back to June.

Click here for an updated list of school cancellations.

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