Snow And Wind Combination Major Factor To School Closures

The amount of snow isn't causing the transportation issues

Students were able to enjoy a snow day Tuesday, and knew it was coming the night before.

Which is a move that doesn’t happen often in Sioux Falls, but what is the student’s fate for Wednesday?

Sioux Falls Public Schools has tweeted that there will be a two hour late start.

Superintendent Brian Maher says it’s not the amount of snow that has fallen that is the issue, it’s the combination of the snow and wind that is making the transportation to school un-safe.

“We knew there wasn’t going to be snow on the ground when we woke up this morning, we knew we would be able to get kids here,” says Maher. “A real concern was if we were going to get them home safely.”

Dr.  Maher says poor afternoon road conditions and the blizzard warning factored into Tuesday’s school closure.

“A lot of times we’ll be in a winter storm watch or a winter storm warning which is pretty severe,” says Maher. “But blizzard warning takes it to a whole different level.” 

And the same issues weighed in on the late start decision for Wednesday morning. 

“What time does the snow stop and what does the wind do with it,” says Maher. “The wind does crazy things with snow so where are all the drifts, are the roads passable, those sorts of things.” 

Dr. Maher says decisions regarding closures aren’t easy to make. 

“We get [two reactions], the good I get to spend time with my child or my child is safe, or what the heck am I going to do now, I still have to go to work and I have to find day-care for my children,” says Maher. “So that’s part of the difficulty.”

However, it’s not the superintendent’s only concern. 

“Can kids get to school safe and can they get home safe; and can our staff get to school safe and get home safe,” says Maher. “That’s the primary concern.”

Since there was no school Tuesday, there will need to be an extra day added to the calendar in June.

Dr. Maher says they discuss calendar changes in April when the winter storms subside.