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You Ask... Patch Answers: Why No Snow Day?

Several readers were curious about the decision making process and why Wilmington had school on Thursday.

Some schools in the area were cancelled on Thursday due to a lengthy snowstorm that made for a messy commute.

Wilmington was not one of those schools, and several Patch readers have asked why. So we went right to the source and asked Superintendent of Schools Joanne Benton how she came to the decision.

"Snow days are always no win situations," said Benton. "You make some parents, students and teachers happy while you upset others."

Benton said she asks the opinion of superintendents in surrounding towns to see how they are leaning when the snow rolls in. In addition, she considers factors like the condition of the roads, how clean the parking lots are, and what the Department of Public Works believes is the safest bet.

This storm was unique in that it lasted for more than 24 hours, even though snow totals didn't pile up to much. The possibility of snow continuing while students are in school factors into Benton's decision, but she said in this case the forecast was for only about one inch of additional powder by afternoon.

As Benton said, she can't please every parent with her snow day or no snow day decision. On Thursday, Benton said she received three calls from unhappy parents, and 12 from parents thanking the superintendent for her choice.

"I am fortunate that we have an incredible DPW department that gets the roads and parking lots cleared early and often," said Benton. "In addition, because Wilmington provides free transportation for all students, I know that most students will be travelling on buses to school. Lastly, parents always have the option to keep their children home."

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