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Snow Day Decision A Tough Call For School Administrators

For many school districts in Wisconsin -- especially Dane County, which received more than a foot-and-a-half of snow during Thursday's storm -- the decision to call off classes was obviously justified.

But for districts in Door and Kewaunee counties, many of which received just a fraction of the predicted snowfall, the decision was easier to second-guess.

Algoma Superintendent Ron Welch says superintendents rely heavily on weather information from the media to make the call -- and all indications were the storm would be a dangerous one.

Aside from media reports, Welch says administrators talk amongst themselves to finalize their decision.

As the rain continued to fall Thursday, Welch says he almost found himself rooting for worse weather.

"It is frustrating," says Welch. "Sometimes the weather folks are right on and sometimes they're way off and unfortunately it seems like my experience has been they're wrong more than they're right.

"So I've kind of decided that it's certainly better for us to wait until 4 a.m. and get up and see what's happening and if there's no snow flying at that point, go back to bed for an hour and see what it's doing at 5 and then make a decision rather than doing it so far in advance," he says.

Welch says the district changed its middle school and high school schedules recently -- the students are getting out earlier -- so he says there's a chance they'll have to make up any time they miss this year.

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