Late Monday evening, Missoula County Public School officials met to consider the possibility of closing all their schools for Tuesday.

Communications Director Hatton Littman said there were obvious reasons why a ‘snow day’ was declared.

“We consult with a lot of outside agencies including the Highway Department and local street crews, as well as law enforcement and our District Safety Team, as well as all the outlying school districts and superintendents,” said Littman. “We’re taking in an incredible amount of data. We’ve got Beach Transportation driving around the community checking out the roads and many of our routes, and the storm itself was unique, because we had so many different types of snow accumulation in different parts of the city and the county.”

Littman said the primary concern was safety.

“We are certainly evaluating things like whether its safe for school buses and for students and staff to travel on” she said. “We evaluate temperatures, wind speeds and wind chill, and  we realize that sometimes we make a decision to keep schools open and there are parents and community members who feel, for example, that on Monday, the snow and the wind chill and blowing snow conditions warranted a school closure.”

Littman said the reason why the decision had to be released early on Monday evening was to give parents time to determine child care options.

“Concerns about working parents are always a factor and what they’re going to do to male plans for their children, if their children need to stay home,” she said. “We also factor in those students who need to be in school to have a safe, warm place to be, and certainly that might need that nutrition.”

Littman said the decision to open schools on Wednesday has not yet been made, but asked parents to check the MCPS website. If there is no notice, then school will take place at the normal times, however, if another snow day is necessary it will be specifically pointed out in the website.

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