Many factors for GRPS to decide snow days

generic Grand Rapids plow

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Public Schools had not decided by 11 p.m. Tuesday whether to cancel classes for Wednesday, but officials were in the process of making a decision.

When to call a snow day is among the most important and most public decisions Assistant Superintendent Larry Johnson helps make.

It’s not a decision he makes from his office. He drives Grand Rapids streets to check out the conditions.

“It’s just a multitude of things that we want to look at,” he said.

The district considers how clear side-streets are and whether buses will be able to get through.

“If a bus gets down here and they can’t see mid-block and they get halfway down here, we’ve got a big challenge because we’ve got to somehow back that bus out of here,” he explained for 24 Hour News 8 on one narrow street.

Most streets, however, were clear enough Tuesday evening. If that was the lone factor, GRPS would probably say school was on.

But Wednesday’s issue isn’t the snow or the cars parked along narrow streets. Rather, is the cold.

“Our challenge for tomorrow is the wind chill factor. That’s going to be the deciding factor tomorrow if we want to put these kids out here,” Johnson said.

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