SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — This is Huron Superintendent Kraig Steinhoff’s second year as superintendent in Huron. One part of that job has been making the call on whether or not to cancel school for weather.

Luckily for Steinhoff, he’s had plenty of experience in this matter, having previously been an administrator and superintendent in North Dakota, where he was no stranger to snow.

“This winter has been busier than normal in terms of weather systems,” Steinhoff said, though he acknowledged that other districts in the state have been worse off.

This year, the Huron School District has had eight snow days and one late start, according to Steinhoff. This is more than usual to be sure, and the most since the 2018/2019 school year.

Steinhoff’s father was also a superintendent, and he recalled memories of his dad listening to reports on a weather radio in an attempt to make a decision on whether or not to close school.

These days, there is much more information available to Steinhoff than his father had, which presents a unique challenge. “Everyone has instant access to weather reports — and everyone is getting their information from different sources,” he said.

This can create confusion when people are hearing conflicting reports on temperature forecasts and snowfall amounts. To simplify things, Steinhoff says he relies solely on National Weather Service reports, “just to make sure I’m always looking at the same data points and getting it from the same data source,” he said.

When it comes to letting the families of the district know about weather related closings, Steinhoff has a system. “They can check out my Twitter,” he laughed.

Now Twitter of course is not the only way in which Steinhoff announces school closings (more on this in a moment), but it is a platform on which he has been active.

Steinhoff has posted often with weather updates on his page, alerting those in the district about wind conditions, snow, temperature and the like. He also provides info about whether or not school will be open or closed. Sometimes that decision changes suddenly.

Take April 3, 2023 for instance, when Steinhoff tweeted, “Team Huron, As of this writing, I plan for Huron School District to be on normal time tomorrow, April 4th. I will monitor the National Weather Service forecast and send an updated notification this evening. Have a great afternoon!

Minutes later, however; “The announcement of having school made it 15 minutes before the Blizzard Warning was issued by the National Weather Service. No school April 4, 2023. Dr. Steinhoff.

Steinhoff explained his notification process for when he decides to close school.

“Once I’ve made the decision — I’ll first send a group text to all of our administrators,” said Steinhoff. Next an email is sent out to all staff and school board members, along with group text to other area superintendents. “Then we have a messaging system that sends out text messages/phone calls to all families that have registered.”

These texts/calls, Steinhoff adds, go out in three languages as selected by the family.

As for the social media, Steinhoff also posts on Facebook and Twitter. All in all, he says the whole process takes about 30 minutes. “The final piece is also getting it posted on KELOLAND and on NewsDakota,” he said.

Steinhoff doesn’t anticipate more snow days to come at this point in the year, which is a good thing. He couldn’t give an exact date for the final day of school yet, as that will depend on what is to come, but noted that the district tends to follow a tradition of making up any and all snow days at the end of the year.

“If we follow a precedent of making up all the days, then our last day of school is Thursday June 1st, but that is to-be-determined,” said Steinhoff.