No Snow Days in Utah

Brooke Anderson, News Editor

Utah is not known for having any snow days. The Salt Lake Tribune says “despite the heavy snowfall
and slippery roads, most Utah school districts use closure as a last resort.” Recently Utah has had a bad snow
storm (December 14, 2015) and many students believed they were going to have a snow day. The roads were
terrible, crashes on most main roads, ice covering the roads and to some early risers some of the roads
weren’t even plowed. However, most school districts didn’t budge and school was still in session. The reasons
for lack of snow days, however, aren’t to annoy students.
For Granite School District they try their hardest to keep school open. According to The Salt Lake
Tribune “roughly half of Granite’s student body quality for free or reduced-price school lunches.” So they
keep the school open so those students could have food when they might go without for that day. “The
reality is we just keep our school open,” Ben Horsley, spokesman for the Granite School District, said “and we
rely on parents to make the best decision with regard to travel and the safety of students.” Also Jason Olsen,
spokesman for Salt Lake City School District has a similar policy. Olsen says “We like to keep our schools
open, whenever possible, just for those students who don’t have other options.” According to The Salt Lake
Tribune those policies are consistent with Jordan, Salt Lake City, Murray, and Canyons school districts.
Many school districts excuse students for the day if the weather gets as bad as it did on December
14, 2015, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. They just keep the school open to those who need it. According
to it takes 6-24 inches of snow to close Utah school—for most of Utah it takes 12 inches of
snow. The Salt Lake Tribune clarifies that since Utah law requires a minimum of 180 days of school that, “if a
district closes schools due to a winter storm, the law requires that the snow day be make up, traditionally on
Presidents Day, during spring recess or with an additional day before classes end for summer break.” Jordan
School District spokesman Steven Dunham says that “because the makeup days cut into the would otherwise
be a scheduled break from classes, attendance is minimal. By holding classes during a winter storm, schools
see better attendance than they would on a makeup day, and without the disruption to family and academic