After the four inches of snow last night, the Eau Claire school district made the call early Thursday morning to give kids a snow day. This winter is more than making up for the lack of snow days the area saw last year. This time though, parents I talked to were a bit surprised.
"I was, we weren't expecting it," says parent Eric Dunn. His wife is a teacher at a nearby school and drove there to find an empty parking lot this morning. "I’m a stay at home dad. I was more than happy to have her home today. We get to have fun and it's a beautiful day."
Unlike a lot of parents, Gabriel wasn't surprised at all when he saw the snow today.
"Were you surprised that it was a snow day?....uh huh, nope."
Even older kids had a hunch they'd get lucky today like high school freshman Bennett Running. "I woke up and I didn't feel like getting up but I decided I knew there was snow last night so i just went and turned on the TV and Eau Claire school district was closed so I went back to bed."
Doctor Mary Ann Hardebeck, the superintendent for the Eau Claire school district says they take the decision to close or delay very seriously. Some employees are out as early as 2 am starting plowing at the schools and taking care of the facilities. She said the roads then were particularly hazardous.
"We considered a two hour delay but felt that we may be in a position where we get the kids on the road and then have problems because of the way the buses have to maneuver, particularly on the secondary and tertiary roads. We decided to close today," said Hardebeck.
She says this is the third snow day so far this winter and the day will have to be made up in June. Nobody seemed to mind though.
"I think it's worth it to have an occasional, extra day off in the middle of the school year," says Dunn.
"One more day at the end of the year I probably won’t notice," says Running.
The school district told me for any planned celebrations of Valentine’s Day today...those will just get pushed back to tomorrow. There was also some concern as to whether the Memorial varsity boy’s hockey team would take to the ice tonight at 7:30 pm against Ashland. That playoff game is in fact a go.