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Changing weather causes school closing confusion

The early morning snow storm today, affected high school students more than anyone else. Students of Nevada Union High School and Bear River High School were on their way when it started snowing. Snow Day was declared around 10 a.m.

The decision to call a Snow Day for the high schools is made by the superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District, Maggie Deetz. Around 5 a.m., she talks to Durham School Services, the Grass Valley-based bus company, and depending on the weather conditions and the California Highway Patrol’s update on the road conditions, she makes the decision.

“This morning at five, it was raining,” Deetz said. “Durham said our buses are ready to go, so we let them go. It didn’t start to snow an hour or an hour and a half later. All elementaries have the luxury of waiting for a few hours to see what the weather turns out to be. We have to look at the weather predictions and the radar, and anyone who lives in Nevada County knows that’s not what how it always turns out. So we do our best guess and go with it.”



The decisions for elementary schools and middle schools are made by the superintendents of the respective school districts, according to Terry McAteer.

Despite the warnings, Deetz decided to continue with school for the day because it had been raining and snow is so unusual for the area, McAteer said.




“When we made the call to send the buses, it was 5:30 a.m., when it was still raining,” McAteer said. “It turned to snow halfway through the route.”

“They are (having) full schools in Pleasant Valley, Ready Springs, and Pleasant Ridge School Disctricts,” McAteer said. “Those decisions were made by those district superintendents.”

Nevada Union and Bear River high schools are now closed according to Deetz. Buses started leaving Nevada Union at 10:30 a.m. and leaving Bear River at 11 a.m. for those students who managed to make it to school earlier.

“Students who are driving will be allowed to leave if they have snow tires or chains,” Deetz said. “Otherwise, parents will be asked to come and pick them up.”

Schools in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Cedar Ridge and San Juan Ridge schools were closed. However, Pleasant Ridge School District schools were open and Pleasant Valley and Ready Springs elementaries are open, but they will be closing early due to earlier-scheduled mininum days.

The National Weather Service had earlier issued a storm warning for the area, predicting 1 to 4 inches of snow down to 1,500 feet, and 5 to 10 inches down to 2,000 feet. In Morgan Ranch, 3 inches had fallen by 7:30 a.m., in the first hour of snowfall.


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