With threat of ice and snow, Desoto County superintendent explains closure policy

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HERNANDO, Miss-- WREG is not the only one monitoring the threat of winter weather rolling into the Mid-South.

School districts across our area are tasked with deciding whether or not schools should be open for the day.

There’s a lot of factors that play into the decision, as well as a lot of people involved.

On Thursday, the district sent out a letter to parents letting them know what to expect.

"I don’t do ice. I don’t, it's too dangerous,"  said mom Andrea Paige on Thursday ahead of the potential for sleet, snow and ice in the Mid-South.

Paige says when it comes to bad weather she doesn’t take a chance taking her children out on the roads.

DeSoto County Schools doesn’t want to take any chances either.

"We’ve actually been watching the weather all week.”

Superintendent Cory Uselton oversees 42 schools in the district. If he makes the call to close one school, they’re all shut down for the day.

"This is actually one of the toughest decisions for a superintendent to make," Uselton explained.

Which is why there’s a system in place to monitor the ever changing forecast. He’s been communicating with the National Weather Service and local agencies all day and has a plan as we move into the overnight hours.

"We’ll have people looking at the roads tonight checking on the bridges, which often ice first, and we feel like around three or four o’clock in the morning we’ll start to get a more definite answer from the meteorologists and from the Emergency Management Agency as far as whats actually happening out there," Uselton said.

As far as when parents should have an idea what to expect, he suggests being alert due to changing forecasts.

"Because the timing of it and the type of precipitation we’re getting, because it’s not just going to be snow. There is a chance for freezing rain, sleet and snow, and it’s coming in at the time we would have to make a decision. We would like to make a decision around 5 a.m. at the latest, possibly up to 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. But 5 a.m. is the ideal time for us.” the superintendent said.

The district also says to look out for texts, emails, phone calls from the district.

Due to all of the changes they're asking families to be patient.

Shelby County Schools is also preparing:

We are aware of the possibility of winter weather overnight but no decisions have been made at this time. We will continue to monitor the forecast and conditions throughout the night, and will make sure families and staff are informed of any changes to tomorrow’s school schedule due to weather. Anytime there’s a winter weather threat, we like to remind our families to start thinking about their childcare plans for the day should schools have to close.

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