Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools explain what it takes to cancel school

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio-- The Willoughby-Eastlake City School District is reminding students and parents what it takes to cancel school.

Dozens of school districts in Northeast Ohio closed school or delayed start times on Tuesday and Wednesday because of frigid temperatures. A wind chill advisory is in effect until noon on Wednesday.

Willoughby- Eastlake City Schools stayed open. Superintendent Steve Thompson posted a video on Facebook and detailed the factors the district considers:

  • Amount of accumulated snow and ice.
  • Whether precipitation is expected to continue throughout the day.
  • Temperature and wind child (minus 15 degrees or colder).
  • Impact on our bus fleet.
  • Weather predictions from satellite systems, local radar, National Weather Service and NOAA Weather Radio.
  • The timing of the storm.
  • Building conditions such as whether there is electricity and/or heat, our ability to clear parking lots of snow and ice.

Thompson said the process for closing school starts at 4 a.m. when the director of operations and the director of transportation evaluate the weather and road safety. They speak with snow crews and report to the superintendent. He also considers reports from area schools and law enforcement.

The decision is made by 5:30 a.m. so there's time to notify the bus drivers before they begin to pick up students.

"Sometimes storms come unexpectedly, especially clippers off the lake. And by 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock, the weather conditions might not be great, but that is very, very difficult to predict," Thompson said.