So when do schools call it a snow day? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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So when do schools call it a snow day?

January 07, 2020 - 6:00 PM

If your little ones were hoping that this morning's snowfall would be enough to get them out of going to school and that a snow day would be declared – they'll have to wish for quite a lot more snow.

According to the Central Okanagan School District, they can only remember declaring a snow day and closing schools twice in the last 30 years. School District No. 22 (Vernon) had much the same response with no one at the district remembering a time in recent memory when they closed for a snow day. School District No.73 (Kamloops-Thompson) said the only time all their schools closed was on a single day in 2015.

"[It's] very much a rarity," Central Okanagan School District spokesperson Justin Schneider told "[We] typically try and keep open."

Schneider said the school district coordinates with a variety of departments to access the weather situation.

"We examine every circumstance," Schneider said. "It's all about safety."

Schneider said it's ultimately up to parents to decide whether to send their kids to school or not and that decision normally comes down to how bad the conditions are where they live. While buses are sometimes cancelled because of the snow and ice, schools remain open, although often with reduced numbers of students.

For kids hoping for a couple of days outside of the classroom, it appears the schools are more resilient than one may think. Vernon School District spokesperson Maritza Reilly points to the heavy snowstorm in 2015 that brought much of the Interior to a standstill. The district's schools were still open though.

While the schools may remain open, Reilly said the district recommends families travel to school at their own discretion, taking safety and snowfall in their area into account.

Once at school, kids who don't want to go outside will have to wait until the mercury drops to around -10 C for a good excuse, which Reilly says is roughly the temperature when schools make the decision whether to let the kids outside at recess or not.

And while the schools themselves may be open, school districts encourage parents to check for updates regarding buses when the weather is bad.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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