WATCH: How do schools make the call to close?

Should schools have really closed Thursday?
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-06 07:39:41-05

CINCINNATI -- A second round of afternoon snow showers prompted Cincinnati Public School District to close as early as 5 a.m. Thursday, but not every school district closed in the wake of the Tri-State’s first snowfall of the season.

Fort Thomas Schools in Northern Kentucky were business as usual Thursday, despite snow showers.

“Safety is our number one priority for students and staff, but our second biggest priority is learning,” said Superintendent of Ft. Thomas Schools Gene Kirchner.

But for Cincinnati Public School District, transportation is more of a factor when deciding whether to cancel classes. Many of the 35,000 students within the school district rely on buses to get back and forth to school.

Janet Walsh, director of Public Affairs for Cincinnati Public Schools, said the district made the decision so early in an effort to keep the buses off of the snowy roadways during peak traveling hours.

“We had a similar weather pattern about a decade ago, and the whole city was in gridlock,” Walsh said. “We did not make a decision to close that time, and we had students trapped on buses for a very, very long time that’s why we always air on the side of safety.”

Kirchner said the majority of the 3,000 students within the Northern Kentucky School District do not rely on buses, making transportation less of a consideration when inclement weather strikes.

“Most of our students are either walking or riding to school with a parent,” Kirchner said.

While the safety of students is top priority for school officials, parents are also heavily impacted by a school’s decision to close.

Thousands weighed in on WCPO’s Facebook post Thursday as to whether schools should have closed.

Some said driving in inclement weather isn’t worth the risk.

But others said closing school doesn’t help prepare children for adulthood.