Wednesday’s sunny, dry weather is expected to become a different story overnight in school districts around the region including Rockwood. While students often look forward to the prospect of a snow day, making the decision falls on the superintendent, and it’s rarely easy.

“We really never know until we monitor,” said Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost, “and most of us spend the overnight hours looking out the window and talking to our folks and doing some driving ourselves, and try to make the best decision we can. We’re probably looking at snow after midnight, before 3 a.m., so it allows us to get an early look at what’s going on.”

Snow day.

Two words guaranteed to get a reaction every time schools close due to weather because so many people are affected.

“Parents and kids, and kids being home alone, daycare supervision, all of those things. It’s not an easy decision,” said Knost.

When winter weather threatens a school day, Knost takes part in a conference call of 27 regional superintendents and others.

“We also have the transportation folks from the VICC program and Special School District,” said Knost. “Basically we plan ahead, we kind of keep in touch through texting and through emails and tomorrow morning we already plan to have a conference call at 4:30. They’re not fun nights for superintendents. We won’t sleep much tonight.”

In the Metro East, it was a similar waiting game. Belleville Superintendent Mat Klosterman says he plans to test the roads himself early in the morning. He'll also talk with others in the district and make a decision on school closings by 5 a.m.

Granite City's Superintendent says it's still too early to make a decision, but has a similar plan. He's preparing to test road conditions at 1 a.m. then, by 5 a.m., they will notify their busses and send an automated phone alert to parents.

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