Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Most students would be happy if school was closed every time a few flurries stick to the ground, but for the people making the decision on whether or not today will be a snow day, the process is a little more complicated than peering out the window.
"I start looking at the weather with different district officials probably at about 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning" said Al DiAmico, Director of Transportation for Buffalo Public Schools. "We watch these storms, we see what they're doing. With Buffalo, we're very unique with lake-effect snow, one area of the city could be covered, and another area could be not covered."
Snow isn't the only reason for calling a snow day though. Bitter cold can also cause schools to close for the day if they believe it would be too dangerous for children to wait for the bus or walk to school. DiAmico says that when the wind chill reaches somewhere between -15 and -25 degrees, districts consider closing, but there are still other factors at play.
"If is was -15 degrees and there was no snow on the ground and nothing's blowing around and you're not getting wet, that might be one consideration. It could be -15 with snow getting kicked up that was already on the ground and you're getting wet, so there's all different kinds of factors."
All of those variables must be taken in to consideration quickly. DiAmico says that the Superintendent, who makes the final decision, has to decide whether or not to close school by 5:30AM so they have enough time to get the message out to parents.
And what about a school taking too many, or "using up" all of its snow days? DiAmico says that is just a myth. "The amount of snow days that we've already had is not a direct influence at all. It's always about the safety of the student."