District remains open after heavy snow

Metz consults bus company on safety

Sam Orloff and Ethan Brown

Snow piles up outside the C doors Feb. 2. According to police reports, officers responded to more than 450 calls because of the bad weather.

Harrison Barden
Snow piles up outside the C doors Feb. 2. According to police reports, officers responded to more than 450 calls because of the bad weather.

When junior Miguel Ocampo watched the news on the day of the snowstorm, he worried about driving to school and wondered if the district would cancel.

Ocampo said he heard reports of many accidents Feb. 2, and felt concerned about students driving who may not have experience in bad weather.

“It’s too dangerous on the roads for us to be driving,” Ocampo said. “Not many people know how to drive in the snow.”

Superintendent Rob Metz said he currently uses temperatures set by the National Weather Service to decide when it becomes too cold to open school.

“When it comes to cold, I’m using 20 F below zero, or 40 F below zero with wind chill,” Metz said. “If I’m looking at the weather forecast and it’s at those numbers when students are getting on buses, that’s when I’ve called off school in the past.”

According to Metz, canceling school because of snow means conditions must be too unsafe for bus drivers to make it to their busses and to the schools.

“With snow, it really comes down to a couple things,” Metz said. “We’re not really worried about if the snow is blowing or drifting too much, but if the bus drivers can make it to the bus garages and if they can safely get up and down the sidestreets.”

Freshman Amaia Barajas said district communication helps to keep everyone informed regarding ongoing weather developments.

Just so there’s not any confusion, I think the we should especially communicate more with those kids that live outside of St. Louis Park,”  Barajas said.

Metz said the school only contacts families if the district cancels school, because he worries about setting any other precedents.

“I’m listening to Sara Thompson, our communications director, and she says only to communicate if there isn’t school,” Metz said. “Once you start communicating if there is, then you’re always expected to do that.”