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‘Tough' Decisions About School on Friday Amid Wintry Forecast

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Some districts are already canceling classes for Friday but many schools are waiting before they make the call.

As wintry weather is expected to sweep into the state on Friday, the decision about what to do with the school day falls on superintendents.

And rain falling will make it hard to pre-treat the roads which could get dicey later on.

“It's one of those things that is not a clear-cut call like you know we had a forecast of a major snowstorm,” said Shawn Parkhurst, Windsor Locks Public Schools superintendent.

Windsor Locks' superintendent said the timing of the storm is the critical piece.

To help make the call, about 90 districts rely on advice from meteorologist John Bagioni.

“I think that's the decision - do we go in? And if we go in, do we have confidence that we can come out safely?” said Bagioni, owner of Fax Alert Weather Service.

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He’s studying forecast models and providing school leaders with updates several times a day.

Right now, the biggest question is exactly when the arctic air rushes in through different parts of the state. That’s when freezing rain and sleet could create potentially dangerous and messy conditions on the roads.

“Every superintendent that I've known has been just so concerned about student safety that it's never a Cavalier decision,” said Bagioni.

Bagioni will work Thursday night and be up early Friday morning helping superintendents figure out if they can get a full day in, need to do an early dismissal or just cancel.

He thinks in some cases, it might be wise to wait to make a decision to see how things develop.

“This is one of those that I definitely like as always to give people as much lead time and planning so that we're not scrambling the morning of. So tough one for sure ahead of us here,” said Parkhurst.

It’s not only a question of if the roads will be safe for buses; parents are also concerned about their kids with a growing number of student drivers and it’s something schools keep in mind.

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