Weather is unpredictable, a fact that school administrators in northwest Missouri deal with almost every winter.
As snowstorms loom, educators constantly monitor weather maps while staying in communication with the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The top priority, they say, is to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff.
After last week's storm, Maryville R-II and other Nodaway County districts were prepared to make the call when a second blizzard blew in Tuesday morning.
"The process is, bottom line, student and staff safety," R-II Superintendent Larry Linthacum said. "When it comes to calling off school, it's a fine line. We realize that there are a lot of people involved, and we make those decisions based on the best interest of everyone."
The R-II district made the decision early Tuesday to close at noon, and most other schools in Maryville followed suit.
Horace Mann always operates under the same procedure as R-II, but St. Gregory's School principal Susan Martin decided to keep students in class until 3 p.m.
"I didn't think that it would be any worse or better at 3 than it was at noon," Martin said. "In fact, there's a chance it might be better since crews could have more time to clear roads."
St. Gregory's students ride the same buses as R-II students, but only 10 pupils from the local Catholic school were affected, and all but one of them were picked up by parents on Tuesday.
All local schools gave parents the option of picking up their children early.
Jefferson C-123 and South Nodaway called off school completely, while schools in the north and western parts of the county went for the early-out option.
"First and foremost, we live in the Midwest and it's February," Linthacum said. "We have to expect this type of weather.
"There are a lot of factors we take into consideration. We talk to the city and MoDOT to check on their plans for clearing roads, and the Highway Patrol as well."
Sheriff Darren White said there were roughly a half-dozen wrecks across the County Tuesday morning, a contrast to last week's storm, when only a couple of accidents were reported.
"They were pretty much all over the place," White said. "From the far north end of the county to the south. It is considerably slicker out this time than it was last week."
White said that while most of the cars sustained significant damage, no one was seriously hurt.