Two snow days have been called in less than a week in Omaha-area schools. Might there be a third Thursday?

Representatives of several metro school districts said it's too soon to say if schools will be closed again Thursday after Wednesday classes were canceled.

"We are watching forecasts closely," said Brandi Paul, spokeswoman for Westside Community Schools. "No predictions yet."

Friday, Omaha Public Schools, Westside, Papillion La Vista Community Schools and more called the first snow day of the 2019-2020 school year.

Wednesday's snow day was the second.

Papillion La Vista Superintendent Andy Rikli announced Wednesday's cancellation at 3:14 a.m.

Annette Eyman, a district spokeswoman, said the forecast made for a difficult and late decision, but the district will always err on the side of student safety.

District officials prefer to decide the night before, if the forecast is certain, to give parents more time to make arrangements. But this time, the decision had to be made overnight, based on the forecast and the timing of the snow.

“It was the fact that the majority of the snow was falling at (morning) commute time,” Eyman said.

Millard Superintendent Jim Sutfin tweeted out the cancellation at 5:08 a.m., citing “the timing of the storm and poor road conditions.”

“I know he was up early this morning, consulting several people beforehand," said Millard spokeswoman Rebecca Kleeman. "We start at 4 a.m. when this stuff hits. Several of us were out driving and then reporting back. They took some time with their decision, and then in the end, decided to close.”

OPS tweeted a school-closing notice at 5:10 a.m.

As for Thursday, Eyman said, district officials are keeping an eye on the forecast and how well local street crews do cleaning up Wednesday's snow.

“I think we’ll continue to monitor and see what happens, Eyman said.

The same is true for Millard schools.

“We’re taking it one flake at a time at this point,” Kleeman said.

AccuWeather is expecting 1-2 inches of snow between 1 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday. The National Weather Service is forecasting the same amount, with a little more coming Thursday night into Friday.

Metro districts didn’t have to burn any snow days during the first semester of the school year, leaving them in pretty good shape to handle storms here on out.

“Getting through the winter break without any snow days was a huge help,” Eyman said.


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Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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