Delayed opening or close schools entirely? Here’s how superintendents decide

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MENTOR, Ohio - Tuesday, many Northeast Ohio school districts pulled the plug on the school day because of freezing rain and slick roads. Some parents wonder if it's a better idea to delay school instead of close. Fox 8 talked with several superintendents who say the decision isn't as easy as you may imagine.

For starters, not all districts have the option to delay school. The Mentor Schools superintendent says his district attempted to make the switch several years ago before realizing it's not practical for students and parents.

"Our buses go out multiple times," said Mentor Superintendent Matthew Miller. "A two-hour delay would really push our pick up and delivery times for those kids so it's really not an option."

Some parents disagree, arguing a two-hour delay may be easier to find last-minute childcare as opposed to an entire day out of school.

"Five thirty when you get a phone call saying there is no school it's hard to figure out what to do," said Mentor parent Manuella Crowley. "I think that while the kids would probably rather have a snow day, the delay you can probably figure out what to do for a couple of hours but not necessarily the whole day."

Strongsville Schools can utilize a two-hour delay. However, the district superintendent confirmed while the option has been available for two years they have never delayed classes, citing the only reason to delay would be extremely cold weather. All superintendents Fox 8 reached out to agree that when it comes to delaying or closing school the safety of students comes first.

"All superintendents are going to try and make the right decision based on safety not based on how many days or hours you're up to," said Miller.

Miller says his district is far below the allowed amount of snow day hours dedicated to school closures.