Snow days come with price tag for schools and businesses

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Students across the Valley are always hoping for snow days, but there are financial implications when classes are canceled. School districts lose out but local businesses may see a bump in foot traffic.

Canfield Superintendent Alex Geordan said school programs are funded on the state and federal level and that funding is lost for the day when classes are canceled.  Also, any meal preparations that were done for that day are lost, too.

On top of a monetary loss, teachers lose time to prepare for standardized tests that will be taken in March and April.

“When we talk about loss of productivity, we talk about what our business is- it’s instruction. Anytime you don’t have contact, it is detrimental to the end game,” Geordan said.

Where schools might take a hit, some local businesses see a bump in customers. Instead of going to class students are heading out to places like coffee shops.

“We see more people hanging out here, more people grabbing coffee to go. It seems to be a comforting place to go when it’s cold outside. It’s a nice opportunity to hang out with friends when you don’t have to work and don’t have school,” said Matthew Campbell, owner of Branch Street Coffee Roasters in Boardman.

While some businesses see more people come through the door, harsh weather conditions can also keep people away. Amy Abruzere, owner of Grey Boutique in Boardman, said when it gets bitter cold, she sees a difference.

“If it is severely cold like negative twenties that we had a couple of weeks ago it definitely impacts foot traffic in the store, however, we have a great online store so that definitely spikes when it’s really cold and people are inside,” Abruzere said.

Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, districts that changed to hour-based schedules will no longer have calamity days. Instead, schools may schedule “excess” hours above the minimum number. Hours missed above the minimum do not have to be made up. However, if a school closes enough that it will fall below the minimum number of hours, the school must extend its scheduled year, according to the Ohio Department of Education.