Cracking the Snow Day Code—Frustrations and Questions About Calling Snow Days


WIll Brent Inzana

A picture of snowy roads at night. Something the school district would see when trying to determine a snow day

Undeclared snow days have always been a sore subject for students. The amount of complaints the district receives has just increased over the years.

“We get complaints every time we do or do not call a snow day or delay,” said Cherry Creek School District’s Deputy Superintendent, Jennifer Perry.

Comments have been flooding the district’s Instagram lately, saying “just give us a snow day,” and “we deserve it.” It is clear that many students have strong feelings when it comes to this subject. 

I don’t think the district is doing an adequate job,”said junior, Victoria Noskov. “While the roads may not seem bad, many of the kids in Grandview are inexperienced drivers.”

While snow causes many problems for students, one needs to remember that teachers get affected too.

“I live all the way across town near the mountains, so it almost always snows more there than it does here,” said Grandview World Languages teacher, Ms. Russum.

Most high school students aren’t good drivers. A given. Mix that with a layer of black iceit’s not a good combination.

“A lot of kids have had accidents on days when we’ve had snow, but no snow day,” said Russum.

Many have reported sliding on ice or even crashing into other vehicles. Driving in snow is a must-know when it comes to living in Colorado, but even experienced drivers sometimes have trouble.

“My family almost lost control because of the snow,” said freshman, Marley Garcia. “It was really scary.”

Although some may not believe it, the procedure that determines whether or not to call a snow day is very process-oriented.

“Our team starts driving the 108 square miles of the district at about 3:45,” said Perry. “We get on a call with each other at about 4:30 to report how the neighborhoods and main streets are looking.”

The district gets all weather information from the most reliable source available in order to get the most accurate information.

“We pay a weather forecasting service and work with local weather forecasters to get the best information possible,” said Perry. “We have to rely on the information they give us and what we gather while driving.”

Recently, COVID-19 has also started playing a part in calling snow days.

“As a complicating factor due to COVID, we also have to consider whether we have enough teachers, building engineers, snowplow drivers, etc. to clear the grounds and have enough staff to welcome kids,” said Perry. “The call has to be made by 5:30 to ensure we have time to communicate.”

There’s one huge question students have: will snow days, like other districts are doing, ever be replaced with online school?

“We are not having discussions about replacing snow days with remote days,” said Perry. “The only time I see this happening is if we had a year of too many snow days, and we were going to have to make up time by extending the school year.”

Snow days and when they should be called will always be ground for dispute. The district can’t make everyone happy, but they are taking every precaution to keep our students safe.

“We have to remember that we do live in Colorado, and it has always snowed here,” said Russum. “The priority is to have school, so if it’s only a few inches of snow, it’s not worthy of canceling school.”