How Much Snow Will Cancel School?

The decision to cancel school due to snow is not taken lightly, because schools have to complete a certain number of instruction days in a year. It’s usually a combination of school district topography, road conditions, and local snow-clearing systems. For example, where I live, the city school can get buses around in some snow, because the routes are only a few miles and the roads get salted. But the county schools have to send buses over long routes that are treacherous in good weather and are not maintained (often not even paved). Whether an area expects snow has a lot to do with how prepared they are to plow or salt roads. It is not cost-effective to buy and store snowplows and salt where it only snows once in a decade.  

Redditor atrubetskoy constructed a map that shows approximately how much snow is required to cancel school in the various parts of the U.S. See it full-size here. Read about the map and some of the data used at The Atlantic.


Our school district doesn't have snow days (in AB Canada). Sometimes the buses don't run because it's too cold for the diesel engines (-35 C). In 20 years I don't ever remember them not running because of snow. But then we are equipped to the hilt for winter! But the schools never close, because some kids will always show up.
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Looking at least one case of "1 inch" closure county on the East coast near where I used to live, I'm pretty sure they don't close for just 1 inch, or even a couple inches of snow. They did have a couple days where they closed when there was only an inch of snow, but it was an inch of snow on top of a quarter inch or more of ice. If they did close every time they got an inch of snow, they would have been closed a extra week or two every year.
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