When winter weather comes to town, for many children one thing comes to mind: snow days.

When winter weather comes to town, for many children one thing comes to mind: snow days.

Who, besides Mother Nature, do area kiddos have to thank for an extra day off from school?

Alma Stipp, Neosho R-5 superintendent, said the decision is made by transportation director Jacque Faulkner, Director of Operations Tim Crawley, and herself.

"It's a matter of being on the safe side," Stipp said. "Ultimately I'd rather be safe than sorry."

She said decisions made in the night usually fall on Faulkner and Crawley, who consult several weather forecasts, as well as area road conditions.

"We talk with all the surrounding schools, it's kind of a group discussion," Stipp said.

Stipp said while weather is unpredictable, the district tries to err on the side of safety when making the decision.
"We try not to do any gambling," Stipp said.

While the district had not determined as of press time if school would be held today, they did dismiss early on Wednesday in anticipation for the expected winter storm. They were not alone, as the Westview C-6 School District, McDonald County R-1 School District and Diamond R-4 School District also dismissed early.

Stipp said while the district tries to build in six to eight snow days in the school year calendar, early out days, such as Wednesday, do not count toward make-up days, because the students were in school more than half a day.
She said while district officials try to make the most informed decision possible when calling for a snow day, they also have to allow plenty of time for parents and district staff to adjust for the day off.

The Neosho R-5 School District had no snow days prior to this week.

On the college level, snow days are a little more rare than in the K-12 setting, though Cindy Brown, public information director at Crowder College, said the school tries to do what's best for the students.

She said the decision is made by a group of college administrators, including president Dr. Alan Marble, Vice President of Finance Dr. Jim Cummins, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Glenn Coltharp, and Vice President of Student Affairs Tiffany Slinkard.

Brown said because Crowder is so spread out, the administrators will also consult with staff at their other campuses, while they also keep an eye on area school closings.

Crowder College has not had any snow days so far this year.