Metro Considers Many Factors Before Issuing Snow Days
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Several school districts in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky made the call Friday to either cancel school or delay opening. However, in Davidson County, officials with Metro Nashville Public Schools decided to remain open.
When it comes to wet, wintry weather and possibly icy conditions, school districts have to make the tough decision whether or not to close schools.
Thursday, NewsChannel5 spoke with Metro School's Director of Transportation, Keith Phillips about the criteria for closing school. He said the district has an 11-person snow team who check the roads all over the county before a decision is made.
The team checked roads around the county Friday and determined conditions were not severe enough to close schools.
Phillips said Metro Schools will not start hours late because of weather. They either hold school or cancel it all together.
"We don't usually go to a delayed schedule like a lot of the counties will, because we have our magnet schools. Students rely on MTA bus services and they are not able to alter their routes," said Phillips.
If the snow team determines one area is too risky for driving, the entire district shuts down for the day.
"We have to open and close as a school district because of employees and also with our magnet schools, we have children that are coming from all over the county into our magnet programs, so we have to take that into consideration," said Phillips.
He said Metro Schools decide whether to remain open or to cancel schools by about 4:30 a.m. so they can get the word out to the media, the district's communications office so they can use the call out system and notify parents, teachers and employees.
"It's a tough situation to be in, because you're the one who has the make the decision and a lot of folks want to second-guess you. You're either a hero or the guy who made the wrong decision," said Phillips. "We have some good people who are dedicated and they know what they're doing to make these buses safe to get the kids to and from school."
Many districts send out automated recordings to alert parents of closures due to inclement weather. You can also find the latest closing information on the air during newscast. Closings are also posted online and on NewsChannel5's mobile page and apps.