TCAPS Looks at Number of Factors Before Deciding to Cancel Schoo - Northern Michigan's News Leader

TCAPS Looks at Number of Factors Before Deciding to Cancel School

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Classrooms all over northern Michigan will sit empty again tomorrow, as many schools have made the decision to cancel due to the weather.

But how do they ultimately make the decision to cancel school?

"It really comes down to what the forecasts are, it's rare for us to make the call the night before or the day before because Michigan weather can change so dramatically."

The forecast this winter has been nothing but seemingly cold and snowy, therefore making it easy for TCAPS to make the decision to call off school.

There are three things that the school takes into account before they make things official.

"So when busses are out picking up students, do they have enough visibility that they can stop on time? That they can see students on the side of the road? They can see cars in front of them so they can brake?" explains Superintendent Steve Cousins.

The second variable is whether or not the buses will be able to safely move through the snow and on the roads.

"Can you stop in time? Are the roads too icy to stop going the reasonable speed? Can you get off the side of the road and back onto the road? That goes to snow depth so your road conditions and your ability to start and stop are the second factor."

The last thing they take into account is the wind chill.

"When you get twenty degrees below zero, it doesn't take long for someone to end up with some sort of frostbite, and we have students who particularly in inclement weather days, could be waiting for their bus on a 10, 12 minute delay because the weather's so bad the busses cant get around on their usual schedule," says Cousins.

So far TCAPS have had six, going on seven days of school called off, and they say they'll continue to have more if that ensures student safety.

"The number of days won't really impact that decision, it's really about that day and can we actually get our students predictably safe to school?"