SCS Closed Friday: Chief of Staff addresses ‘difficult’ winter weather decisions

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County Schools is closed Friday due to winter weather, but before the announcement was made, students and parents spent Thursday afternoon speculating.

SCS Chief of Staff Reginald Porter Jr. met with WREG . He confirmed the district always makes a decision by 5 a.m. the day of.

"Our safety and security folks are actually driving the streets right now to find out which areas are going to be more treacherous than others," Porter said.

The district bases its decision on factors like sidewalk conditions, road conditions, accumulations, temperature, and wind chill.

He said that no matter what decision the district makes, "It's going to be a difficult one, and somebody's not going to be happy."

"They've been waiting for snow since Christmas," said Idlewild Elementary parent Andria Shoe. Her kids were pulling for a snow day Friday.

As a stay at home mom, she does not have to juggle a work schedule, but a snow day still means juggling kids.

Porter said SCS tries not to decide too early, given how forecasts can change.

While safety is the top priority, SCS would rather have kids in school.

82 percent of SCS students are considered economically disadvantaged. That means many count on schools for some of life's essentials.

"For a lot of our students, this is their only meal. So, we don't want to close to schools and not have them have that opportunity to be in a warm, safe environment and have meals especially like on a Friday," Porter said.

"There's always a challenge, but it's something to be expected if you're a parent," Shoe said.

The district said it has earned seven stockpiled days so far this school year. That is because the SCS school day is a half hour longer than required.

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